Tuesday, December 13, 2011

RIP Tony Amato and Amato Opera

The wonderful Amato opera went on for sixty years on the Bowery in New York. The tiny theater held maybe 80 people, 100 if you don't mind laps-and few did. Tony Amato was the founder and artistic director. He staged and all the operas-and he knew them cold: Handel, Mozart, Bizet, Puccini and of course Verdi..Donizetti, Rossini-he could sing all the parts in all the operas and often he did!

People who came to laugh got over themselves quickly. People pay good money today to hear many artists who began at Amato Opera. Mrs. Sally Amato was the business person..Maestro Tony did the rest. It was not always so. Sally met her husband in the 1940s when she was singing Madame Butterfly on the Lower East Side Side. New York is so great!

I saw many Amatro productions, including rarities like Alzira (Verdi) Poliuto (Donizetti) and L'arlesiana (Cilea). Backstage and upstairs there were trunks, scores, notes and meatballs and probably several singers long deceased who couldn't bear to leave.

You know the song 'What I did for love?' Go sing it (try to sing well) and think of Amato Opera.

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