(Photo Copyright © 2013 Harald Schrader. All Rights Reserved.)
On a very busy work day, I have to pause for one moment to acknowledge personally devastating news. I just learned of the passing of the one-and-only, Anthony "Tony" Amato, of his now legendary New York opera company, AMATO OPERA. Founded in New York by Tony, and his late, beyond-beloved wife, Sally, Amato in 1948, the "small, but oh, so grand" company -- which was first housed in the basement theater of Our Lady of Pompeii Church on Bleecker Street, followed by other locations, then a long-term home at 159 Bleecker Street, then its longer, final home at 319 Bowery -- gave thousands of performances over nearly 60 years, and an equal amount of aspiring singers (some who ended up at the MET and other great companies) the opportunity to learn operatic roles, stage craft, and the magic that was Tony and Sally.