Amato, with his wife Sally, founded the Amato Opera Theater in 1948, and for 61 years, in addition to serving as the company's leader, acted as a director, music director, prompter, vocal coach, diction coach, and sometimes performer for the group, which specialized in producing both well-known work as well as rarities. The company settled in what became its famed home, a theater on the Bowery, in 1964.
Amato's early career included performing in such works as The Vagabond King at Paper Mill Playhouse. In addition, he ran an opera workshop at the American Theater Wing. Earlier this year, his memoir The Smallest Grand Opera in the World was published by iUniverse.
A viewing will be held on Thursday, December 15 from 2pm-5pm and 7pm-9pm at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home in the Bronx and a funeral mass will be held on Friday, December 16 at 10am at St. Mary, Star of the Sea, in the Bronx. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to The Sally and Anthony Amato Program at the Manhattan School of Music.