He has been called the “Prince of the High C’s,” thanks to his ability to hit the really high notes with strength and ease. Syracuse, N.Y., native Michael Amante’s performances cover a remarkable musical spectrum, from gospel, to rock, to opera, to Broadway. The handsome crooner has performed our national anthem for every major sport, he says, except NASCAR.
Now Amante applies his powerful pipes to the role of Freddie Trumper, the Bobby Fisher-inspired character in Chess. TheatreZone presents the musical March 6-16. Amante talks about his passion for music with a deep emotional element.
- Showtimes are as follows: March 6-8, 13-15 at 8 p.m., March 9 and 16 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
- Tickets cost $43-$48.
- For more information, visit theatrezone-florida.com.
NI: What do you think of Trumper as a character?
MA: He certainly is complex; he’s powerful, moody, obnoxious. I think there are some people out there who think the role is perfect for me! I am a lot nicer than Freddie, but I can understand where he’s coming from.
What’s your preferred genre of music?
I love things that elicit an emotional response, both from myself and from listeners. Those songs can come out of any genre.
Who dubbed you the “Prince of High C’s,” which is a nod to the great Luciano Pavarotti, the “King of the High C”?
I was living in New York and doing a lot of singing for various Italian-American organizations. They always invited Pavarotti but apparently he never showed. So I started being the big man on campus. Then one day at the Waldorf Astoria, he shows up. It was very scary. People told me he could be hypercritical, but he was so nice to me after I sang. He got me some more work and said, “You’re a great talent.”
I sang for the pope in Rome, and I sang for presidents, but Pavarotti was the only one who made me a little nervous.
Having sung for three presidents and Hollywood legends, were you ever star-struck?
That award would have to go to Sophia Loren. I met a lot of people at Rao’s in Harlem, and when I was singing there I met Julia Roberts, Cindy Crawford, Denzel Washington. When Sophia showed up and said she wanted to have dinner with me, that was certainly wonderful.