‘THE MUSICAL GLUE OF THE FAMILY’…Mrs. Carmela Bucceri-Altamura of Union City is truly the driving force, glue, and soul of the Musical Family Altamura! Born in San Piero Patti, Sicily, Ms. Altamura came to the United States in 1948 on an immigrant ship to join her family already awaiting in America. Ms. Altamura arrived in Hoboken and then went on to live in Goshen, N.Y. Later she went to Villa Victoria Academy in Trenton and lived at the school for five years. Afterward she received a “full scholarship” to Caldwell College in Caldwell, N.J., just like she achieved a scholarship to the academy in Trenton!
As Ms. Altamura entered musical studies and excelled steadily, she returned to Italy and stayed in Milan and became an opera singer and began to perform in operas and concerts. Finally, she returned to the United States, met Union City Attorney-at-Law Leonard Altamura, Esq., and lived in Denville, N.J. for a time. She became Mrs. Altamura and settled in Union City with her husband. The Altamuras have two children, :Cristina, a concert pianist who lives in North Bergen, and a son Leonard Jr., who is a Hudson County Community College student and also lives in Union City.
Ms. Altamura tells us that she has performed in concerts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and of course, has gone on tour to her beloved Italy as well as Israel, performing in opera events! Ms. Altamura also tells us that she founded the Fomento Center in Union City for the purpose of celebrating Latin American Arts and later for 14 years, she founded the Altamura School for the Fine and Performing Arts for immigrant and underprivileged youth in her community!
Ms. Altamura has also served as a voice and language coach for Opera Music Theater International in Newark, N.J. and a style, language and voice consultant for the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation in New York. Aside from still maintaining a private voice studio in Union City, Ms. Altamura in 2001, along with her husband, Leonard, founded the Altamura Center for Arts and Cultures in Round Top in the Catskills, New York. They founded this center for the purpose of promoting understanding among world peoples through the study of music. Their Center offers the Summer Institute “Encounters With The Masters” program, which is an immersion in operatic literature and Italian culture without having to leave the United States!
The Altamuras are also the founders of the Inter-Cities Performing Arts Center, Inc. in Union City. A member of the National Italian American Foundation in Washington, D.C., Ms. Altamura also tells us that she is a member of their “scholarship committee” and has also received many honors from many Italian cultural organizations like the Italian American Historical Society. She was named “Woman of the Year” by the Italian Center for Culture in the past, and has also studied “soprano” at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy as well as receiving a Gold Medal for Opera in that country.
Ms. Altamura tells us that she has four brothers, Peter who lives in Cliffside Park, Bergen County, and Frank, Anthony, and Mario who live out of state.
In her spare time, Ms. Altamura likes to crochet, cook, read and home decorate. She is also a strong supporter of animal rights and environmental issues and is constantly raising funds for the Arts and poor children around the world! Thus, as the reader can see, behind every successful husband/family, is a successful wife/mother! Ms. Altamura is truly a firm dedicated cultural and musical businesswoman, “with a Heart of Gold”. To Carmela Altamura and family….all the best!!!…
Former Guttenberg Mayor Peter LaVilla tells us that he is very proud of the fact that his son Vito is going on to study at Ramapo College in Ramapo, N.J. this September, 2008. Vito’s lovely mom Betty Weintraub, owner /partner of Israel Hardware Store in Guttenberg, tells us that she is very proud, too! Best of luck Vito in your upcoming studies this Autumn!…Union City Deputy Mayor Nicholas “The Whizzer” Mastorelli, by the time you read this, should be back home in Union City with his lovely wife Janice after a quiet vacation at Pompano Beach in Florida. Welcome back Nick and Janice!!…
United States Army National Guard Private Giovanni Naranjo, son of Elsa Naranjo of West New York, has recently completed Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson, in Columbia, South Carolina. Congratulations!!!…Reverends Allan P. Delima and Daisan Yesudas have been appointed Summer Parochial Vicars at Our Lady of Fatima Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, respectively, in North Bergen, announced Roman Catholic Archbishop John J. Myers of the Newark Archdiocese. Best Wishes!!…Rick Murphy and Jessica Polo of Secaucus have recently been named to the Dean’s List at the Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, and Jaclyn Mucciolo, also of Secaucus, was recently named to the Dean’s List at Caldwell College. Leaders of tomorrow, make us proud!!..
Readers, in my travels in North Hudson County, I recently met the nicest senior citizens who all were holding copies of the Weehawken Reporter! The Weehawken Township residents were Kay Poggi, Adaline Flores and Soledad Vazquez. It’s great to meet all of you On the streets where we live!!!…and so it goes…until next time…see you around town… “MATT.”
Please note: Readers who would like to contribute to this column can do so by mailing your news items and photographs along with your name, address and telephone number to “Matthew Amato,” columnist, c/o The Hudson Reporter, 1400 Washington St., Hoboken, NJ 07030. “Thank you.”