Monday, 16 February 2009


The sad and 'shock-horror' news is that The Amato Opera, located on the corner of Bowery and 2nd Street in the East Village, is closing on 31st. May after 60 years of serving up homemade popular productions mainly in basement theaters. Throughout its six decades of existence, The Amato Opera has been a fixture of New York's artistic scene. Countless artists who are now on the rosters of the "great" houses (The Metropolitan, La Scala etc) got their first exposure to audiences at the Amato.

The theatre (above) seats 103 with a balcony and all seats are excellent for acoustics and sightlines. In this uniquely intimate setting, opera takes on a new, almost tactile, dimension contrasting with the relative remoteness of performances in the larger opera houses. The company will finish the season and its long and much cherished life with productions of "La Boheme" and "The Marriage of Figaro."

Under the guidance of artistic director Anthony Amato (above), the company has produced full productions of over 50 operas of the standard repertoire, as well as many world and American premieres of lesser known works. Until her death in 2002, Mr Amato ran the company jointly with his wife, Sally, but now feels that at 88 years old it is time to start a new chapter in his life. He intends to write his memoirs, establish a foundation to help young singers, conductors and directors and study scores especially Wagner's.
The loss of The Amato Opera will be a body blow to all lovers of opera performed well in intimate surroundings and at a cost affordable to most.

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