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Lots of print and digital type already devoted to the announcement that the Amato Opera, as old as the idea of the East Village itself, will close this May at the end of its 61st season. The news was delivered by the 88-year-old founder, Anthony Amato, prior to a performance of The Merry Widow on January 10.

Curbed’s revelation that the building had been sold (for a surprisingly low $3.7 million) to a developer once listed by the Voice as among the worst landlords in the city has a lot of folks worried that the Amato’s building might eventually be replaced by yet another sore pinky finger — part of the ongoing Dubaification of the Bowery.

The Times registered the community’s shock (with an audio slideshow to boot), but not as personally as Jeremiah at Vanishing New York, who has a great post from a year ago about a night at the opera.

You can also catch some video of the Amato — and more detailed background on its history — at the companion site to a PBS documentary produced a few years back.

Photo credit: Stefan Falke.