Nicola Rescigno

Biography

Born: May 28, 1916; New York, NY   Died: August 4, 2008; Viterbo, Italy  
Nicola Rescigno was an acclaimed American conductor of opera. It wasn't just his insightful interpretations and brilliant baton technique that he is remembered for. It is that Rescigno presented Maria Callas to the American operatic world and regularly performed and recorded with her and he also co-founded the Chicago Lyric Opera and the Dallas Opera. Moreover, many other front-rank opera stars debuted in the U.S. under his aegis, including Read more Domingo, Vickers, Franco Zeffirelli, Sutherland, Caballé, Teresa Berganza, and Magda Olivero. There is little doubt that Rescigno was one of the most influential figures in American opera from the latter half of the twentieth century. He was in his element in the classic Italian operas, particularly those of Verdi, Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, and Puccini, but he also led operas by Handel and Mozart, as well as contemporary operas. Rescigno made countless recordings, many still available on Decca, EMI, DG, and reissue labels like Opera D'oro, Bella Voce, and Melodram.

Rescigno was born in New York City on May 28, 1916. Discouraged from studying music by his father, a trumpeter with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, he went to Italy to study law, but returned to enroll at Juilliard. He eventually studied with three prominent composers: Vittorio Giannini, Ildebrando Pizzetti, and Giorgio Polacco.

Rescigno's official debut came in 1943 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he led a performance of La Traviata. He steadily built his career thereafter, working first in smaller opera houses. By the early '50s he was an international figure on the opera scene. He co-founded (with Lawrence V. Kelly and Carol Fox) the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1953, and then served as its music director (1954-1956).

In 1957 he co-founded (again with Kelly) the Dallas Opera, initially called the Dallas Civic Opera, serving as principal conductor and artistic director until 1990. Except for Callas, whom he introduced to the U.S. in Chicago in 1953, it was in Dallas that Rescigno oversaw the U.S. debuts of so many opera stars, including Domingo and Sutherland.

Rescigno's debut at the Met came relatively late in his career -- 1978 -- when he led a performance of Donizetti's Don Pasquale, with Beverly Sills among the principals. With the appointment of Plato Karayanis as general director of the Dallas Opera in 1977, Rescigno gradually became disenchanted with the progressive changes Karayanis introduced. Rescigno departed in 1990 and spent most of his remaining years in Viterbo, Italy. Read less
Puccini: Tosca / Rescigno, Freni, Pavarotti, Milnes
Release Date: 10/25/1990   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 414036   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: La Traviata / Rescigno, Callas, Valletti, Zanasi, Collier
Release Date: 02/22/2011   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5006   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Tosca / Rescigno, Freni, Pavarotti, Milnes, National Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/21/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001615202   Number of Discs: 2
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Puccini: Madama Butterfly / Nicola Rescigno, Magda Olivero, Renato Cioni
Release Date: 09/09/2008   Label: Opera D'oro  
Catalog: 1484   Number of Discs: 2
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Cherubini: Medea / Rescigno, Callas, Vickers, Cossotto, Carlyle
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Ica Classics  
Catalog: 5110   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 105 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Callas Sings Rossini and Donizetti Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634009 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 2.
    Callas Sings Verdi Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634007 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 3.
    Maria Callas Sings Mozart, Beethoven, Weber Arias
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634010 Release Date: 10/21/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Carl Maria von Weber
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris
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  • 4.
    Callas Portrays Verdi Heroines
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634015 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra
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  • 5.
    Mad Scenes From Anna Bolena, Hamlet, Il Pirata / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634014 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Ambroise Thomas,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Monica Sinclair,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus
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  • 6.
    Maria Callas Remastered - Complete Studio Recordings
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633991 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Richard Wagner,  Amilcare Ponchielli,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Gianni Poggi,  Fedora Barbieri,  Paolo Silveri  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Antonino Votto,  Gabriele Santini,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Turin,  Italian Radio Chorus Turin,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $279.99
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  • 7.
    Luciano Pavarotti Edition 1 - The First Decade
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002051802 Release Date: 05/19/2014   Number of Discs: 28
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Josephine Veasey,  Cornelius Opthof  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Lamberto Gardelli,  Zubin Mehta,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Ambrosian Chorus,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra  ... 
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  • 8.
    Verdi: Nabucco / Rescigno, Protti, Osma, Tagliavini
    Label: Bongiovanni   Catalog: 079/80 Release Date: 01/28/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Aldo Protti,  Marcella De Osma,  Raffaele Arié,  Franco Tagliavini  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    On sale! $32.99
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  • 9.
    The 50 Greatest Tracks / Luciano Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001922802 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Malcolm King,  Robert Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
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  • 10.
    Cherubini: Medea / Rescigno, Callas, Vickers, Cossotto, Carlyle
    Label: Ica Classics   Catalog: 5110 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Luigi Cherubini
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Jon Vickers,  Fiorenza Cossotto,  Nicola Zaccaria  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 11.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva [6-CD Set]
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 548834 Release Date: 05/07/2013   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Montserrat Caballé,  Maya Sunara,  Corinna Vozza,  Sherrill Milnes  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Anton Guadagno,  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London,  RCA Italian Opera Orchestra,  RCA Italian Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 12.
    Label: Bella Voce   Catalog: 7702558 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel
    Performer:  Plinio Clabassi,  Nicola Monti,  Cecilia Fusco,  Oralia Dominguez  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    On sale! $22.98
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  • 13.
    Leo Delibes: Lakme
    Label: Bella Voce   Catalog: 7702623 Release Date: 05/03/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Léo Delibes,  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Alicia Maraslian,  Anastasios Vrenios,  Luciano del Moral,  Maxine Makas  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Nicola Rescigno
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  • 14.
    50 Best Verdi
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 338302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido [Tenor Vocals] Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
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  • 15.
    Verdi Heroines / Maria Callas, Nicola Rescigno
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 33291 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Society of the Conservatory Concerts Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Icon: Maria Callas - La Divina
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 23401 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Giuseppe Morresi,  Ebe Stignani,  Raffaele Arié  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Chorus,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $41.99
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  • 17.
    Maria Callas - The Live Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59794 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Léo Delibes,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Nicola Rescigno,  Sir Malcolm Sargent,  Jeffrey Tate
    Conductor:  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno,  Alfredo Simonetto  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Dallas Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $55.98
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  • 18.
    Maria Callas - The Studio Recitals
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 59776 Release Date: 08/28/2012   Number of Discs: 13
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa,  Umberto Giordano,  Alfredo Catalani  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Monica Sinclair,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre,  Antonio Tonini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $53.99
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  • 19.
    Great Moments Of... Edita Gruberova
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5657782 Release Date: 08/24/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Carl Maria von Weber,  Gioachino Rossini,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Edita Gruberova,  Renato Bruson,  Alfredo Kraus,  Agnes Baltsa
    Conductor:  Kurt Eichhorn,  Gustav Kuhn,  Bernard Haitink,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 20.
    Voices Of Italian Opera
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 40509 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Edita Gruberova,  Margherita Carosio,  Francesco Meli  ... 
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Kurt Eichhorn,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Evelino Pidò  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Giordano: Fedora; Zandonai: Francesca Da Rimini Highlights
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001614802 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Umberto Giordano,  Riccardo Zandonai
    Performer:  Magda Olivero,  Tito Gobbi,  Mario Del Monaco
    Conductor:  Lamberto Gardelli,  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Monte Carlo Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
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  • 22.
    Puccini: Tosca / Rescigno, Freni, Pavarotti, Milnes, National Philharmonic
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001615202 Release Date: 11/21/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Mirella Freni,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Sherrill Milnes,  Richard Van Allan  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Opera Chorus,  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir
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  • 23.
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 828662 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Henry Purcell,  Jean-Philippe Rameau  ... 
    Performer:  Nancy Argenta,  Crispian Steele-Perkins,  Gudrun Jahn,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Gyorgy Fischer,  Kirk Trevor,  Louis Langrée,  Bernard Haitink  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Munich Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Paris National Opera Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 24.
    The Callas Effect [2 CDs + DVD]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84356 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
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  • 25.
    The Callas Effect [Standard Edition]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 84362 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Giacomo Puccini,  Léo Delibes  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Ercolani,  Carlo Forti
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Franco Ghione,  Georges Prêtre,  Nicola Rescigno  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Lisbon San Carlos National Theater Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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