The Sally and Anthony Amato Program

To expand MSM's opera outreach programming, the School has partnered with Anthony Amato and the Amato Opera to establish the new Sally and Anthony Amato Program.

Over the course of more than 60 years, the Amato Opera made great opera accessible to the New York City public. Anthony Amato — as maestro, producer, educator, non-profit entrepreneur, and innovator — stood at the helm of the company as its artistic leader and social conscience. Throughout his distinguished career, his aim has been to educate new generations of audiences who would become ardent opera enthusiasts. His educational strategies engaged audiences by producing abridged operas with period costumes, light staging, and props, and by providing narrators who supply the story thread and explain historical context and detail.

Maestro Amato has begun to work with Manhattan School of Music’s current young singers, conductors, pianists, and directors to perform his Operas-in-Brief in New York City public schools. Prior to the Opera-in-Brief performances, Manhattan School of Music student performers will introduce school children to the basic elements and vocabulary of opera through interactive presentations. Outreach partners will receive the Opera-in-Brief performances, and participants will also be invited to special performances at Manhattan School of Music for children and families.

Goals of the Amato Collaboration

The primary goals of the program are

  • to prepare the School’s highly talented undergraduate and graduate opera students for the demanding opera roles they will perform as professionals
  • to expand the School’s ability to provide our students with opportunities to perform in front of live audiences early in their careers
  • to train young opera singers to be pedagogues who will educate young audiences about the richness of opera
  • to serve New York City by providing unparalleled music programming

Opera-in-Brief Program

Core to the Program is the training of young singers — as well as pianists and conductors — over the course of a fourteen-week semester in preparation for key operatic roles and afford them opportunities to perform. The course will encompass Mr. Amato’s program as follows:

  1. A fourteen week semester comprised of three to four weeks of auditions, followed by at least 10 three-hour classes, one per week.
  2. At least eight of the classes will be spent preparing the two complete operas chosen for that semester; the remaining classes will be spent on preparing the Operas-in-Brief.
  3. Each member of the class will be assigned different alternating scenes during the semester, adding up to the complete run-through of the role they are preparing, but allowing different singers to sing the scenes during different class periods.
  4. Two to three artists will be assigned each singing role.
  5. Two to three combinations of conductors and pianists will participate and possibly also serve as narrators for Operas-in-Brief.
  6. Two to three stage directors will participate and possibly serve as narrators for Operas-in-Brief.
  7. All applicants must audition.
  8. Props, staging, and music notes must be copied from a master score before classes begin.
  9. Music and master score notes must be memorized before classes begin so participants are prepared to begin staging.
  10. Each participant will also be assigned two to three performances of Opera-in-Brief at various locations.
  11. Possible operas to be taught and presented the first semester (also serving as Operas-in-Brief) include La Boheme, Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute (performed in English), Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, Tosca, and Il Trovatore. Except for The Magic Flute, all operas will be performed in the original language, with English narration for the Operas-in-Brief.

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