Here is a very nice obituary for it by Tim Page.
Having never lived in New York, I cannot really imagine what it would be like to lose something like this. We remain, in Canada, relatively lucky that, despite an (allegedly) crack-smoking mayor here in Toronto,and a Prime Minister bent on returning Canada to its fur trade roots by narrowing our economy to resource extraction, we have managed, somehow, to retain most of our arts organizations.
Even if the Canadian Opera Company pisses me off, and it has lately, I don't know what the cultural life of the city would be like without it.
A very sad state of affairs.