RETURNNicola Rescigno

Nicola Rescigno

He was born in New York on 28 May 1916. He studied with Pizzetti, Giannini and Polacco. He made his conducting debut in The Fallen Woman [La Traviata] at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (1943). In 1953 he co-founded the Lyric Opera of Chicago which he directed for two years. For the company’s inaugural performance he invited Maria Callas to sing the title role in Norma. He went on to collaborate with Callas in Madama Butterfly (1955) and Il Pirata in 1959, also conducting in several recordings of the famous soprano (EMI, 1958-59). Various established artists in the field of opera commenced their career alongside Rescigno. In 1957 he co-founded the Dallas Opera, where he served as artistic director and principal conductor until 1990. There, he conducted the American premieres of some of the leading 20th century lyric artists (Tereza Berganza, Montserrat Caballe, Placido Domingo, Gwyneth Jones, Magda Olivero, Joan Sutherland, Jon Vickers, Franco Zeffirelli, etc.). While in Dallas he also staged the American premieres of Alcina and The Frenzy of Orlando [Orlando Furioso], as well as new operas written by Virgil Thompson and Dominick Argento. In 1978 he made his Met debut conducting Don Pasquale and later on L’ elisir d’ amore, L’ Italiana in Algeri and La traviata. He also conducted at the Glyndebourne Festival and London Royal Opera Covent Garden, Opera National de Paris, Vienna State Opera, Zurich Opera and Teatro Colón Buenos Aires. He worked with the GNO in the production of Medea, featuring Maria Callas in the title role (Epidaurus, 1961), La traviata in 1969/70 and again Medea (Odeon of Herodes Atticus, 1972/73). He died in Viterbo, Italy on 4 August 2008. // Last update of the biography: March 2020 – The list of the productions below is complete.