In Tuesday’s (6/2) New York Times, Steve Smith reviews the final performance—Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro—of the tiny Manhattan-based Amato Opera Theater, founded in 1948 by Anthony and Sally Amato. “Inside, you sensed that nearly all the operagoers knew one another… Tears were to be expected; an era was ending, and everyone knew it…  At 88 Mr. Amato has earned a comfortable retirement. But he does not intend to disappear, having announced plans to organize a foundation to provide scholarships for young opera conductors, directors and performers. ‘Give us six months, and you’ll be hearing from us,’ he said in a brief statement from the stage between the second and third acts. Greeted with a roar, Mr. Amato thanked the company’s patrons, volunteers, staff ‘and my dear Sally’ ”—a reference to his wife, who died in 2000. … “As in Mozart the Amato story has a happy ending. Some company members, it was announced last week, plan to carry on as Amore Opera. The name is a fitting tribute: what Mr. Amato created and nurtured for six decades was, above all, an act of love.”

Posted June 3, 2009