A Cheap Night At The Opera Possible (Again) In The East Village

by BILLY GRAY · December 15, 2009

The East Village arts scene took a major hit last spring when the Bowery's scrappy Amato Opera closed after 60 years. Now, a new company established by Amato vets has returned to the neighborhood, bringing affordable ticket prices, intimate performances and home-baked snacks with it!

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Anthony and Sally Amato founded the original Amato back in 1948. For decades, it provided one of those only-in-New York experiences on a nightly basis. It was an incubator for young, local talent who hadn't yet made it to the bigger stages up at Lincoln Center (in fact, Lincoln Center didn't even exist when the company opened). It democratized high culture. And, for 33 years, it had CBGB as a neighbor, a proximity that led to the unlikely intersection of the opera crowd and mohawked, dog-collared punks. (We can only hope that a few wayward CB patrons wandered into the Amato expecting a GG Allin shitshow--literally--and stuck around for the Puccini, and vice versa).

The offshoot company, Amore Opera, might only be around for a limited time. But with its current production, La Boheme, getting great reviews and tickets priced at $30, we should all check it out and hopefully give enough support for a permanent home.