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, National Philharmonic
Release Date: 11/21/2011   Label: Decca  
Catalog: 001615202   Number of Discs: 2
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Verdi: Nabucco / Rescigno, Protti, Osma, Tagliavini
Release Date: 01/28/2014   Label: Bongiovanni  
Catalog: 079/80   Number of Discs: 2
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Browse 1-25 of 90 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The People's Tenor / Pavarotti
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002735402 Release Date: 09/22/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Cecilia Bartoli  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Richard Bonynge,  Robin Stapleton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  John Alldis Choir,  Wandsworth School Boys' Choir  ... 
    CD: $26.99
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  • 2.
    Bellini: Il Pirata / Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563845 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini
    Performer:  Regina Sarfaty,  Pier Miranda Ferraro,  Maria Callas,  Costantino Ego  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  American Opera Society Orchestra,  American Opera Society Chorus
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  • 3.
    Maria Callas Live & Alive: The Ultimate Live Collection Remastered
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563841 Release Date: 09/15/2017  
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gasparo Spontini  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Renato Cioni,  Rolando Panerai,  Nicola Zaccaria  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Felice Cillario,  Herbert von Karajan,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni,  Oliviero de Fabritiis  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Coro del Teatro alla Scala di Milano,  Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin  ... 
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  • 4.
    Maria Callas Live Remastered Recordings 1949-1964 / Various
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 563467 Release Date: 09/15/2017   Number of Discs: 45
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Richard Wagner,  Gioachino Rossini,  Vincenzo Bellini  ... 
    Performer:  Amalia Pini,  Maria Callas,  Gino Bechi,  Gino Sinimberghi  ... 
    Conductor:  Vittorio Gui,  Erich Kleiber,  Oliviero de Fabritiis,  Tullio Serafin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra del Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra Rome,  Italian Radio Chorus Rome  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
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  • 5.
    Donizetti: Lucia Di Lammermoor / Rescigno, Gruberova, Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Wb / Parlophone   Catalog: 560933 Release Date: 05/12/2017   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti
    Performer:  Bonaventura Bottone,  Bruno Lazzaretti,  Alfredo Kraus,  Edita Gruberova  ... 
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Ambrosian Opera Chorus
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  • 6.
    Maria Callas: The Complete Studio Recitals
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 556097 Release Date: 06/17/2016   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Francesco Cilèa  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  John Lanigan,  Joseph Rouleau,  Duncan Robertson  ... 
    Conductor:  Arturo Basile,  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Georges Prêtre  ... 
    On sale! $49.98
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  • 7.
    Elisabeth Schwarzkopf: The Complete Recitals 1952-74
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 553028 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 31
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Strauss,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Edwin Fischer,  Elisabeth Schwarzkopf,  Anny Felbermayer,  Josef Metternich  ... 
    Conductor:  John Pritchard,  Otto Ackermann,  Lovro von Matacic,  Josef Krips  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Ambrosian Singers,  Philharmonia Chorus  ... 
    CD: $91.49
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  • 8.
    The Callas Rarities
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634003 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gioachino Rossini,  Gaetano Donizetti  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Alexander Young,  Franco Corelli
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Nicola Rescigno,  Antonio Tonini,  Georges Prêtre
    CD: $21.99
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  • 9.
    Verdi: Arias, Vol. 3 / Maria Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 634001 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Maria Callas
    Conductor:  Nicola Rescigno
    CD: $12.99
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  • 10.
    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
    CD: $15.99
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  • 11.
    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
    CD: $12.99
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  • 12.
    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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  • 13.
    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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  • 14.
    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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  • 15.
    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  ... 
    CD: $287.49
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  • 16.
    Pure / Callas
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 633994 Release Date: 09/23/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vincenzo Bellini,  Giacomo Puccini,  Alfredo Catalani,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Maria Callas,  Francesco Albanese,  Nadine Sautereau,  Jane Berbié
    Conductor:  Tullio Serafin,  Gabriele Santini,  Victor De Sabata,  Herbert von Karajan  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 17.
    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  ... 
    CD: $157.49
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  • 18.
    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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  • 19.
    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 [Bass Vocal] Lloyd  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Francesco Molinari-Pradelli,  Richard Bonynge,  Edward Downes  ... 
    CD: $21.99
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  • 20.
    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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    On sale! $24.99
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  • 21.
    Montserrat Caballe - The Diva
    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  ... 
    CD: $19.99
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  • 22.
    50 Best Verdi
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 338302 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Placido Domingo,  Rolando Villazón,  Renato Bruson,  Nicolai Gedda  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Muti,  Marcello Viotti,  Giuseppe Patané,  Julius Rudel  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 23.
    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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  • 24.
    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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  • 25.
    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  ... 
    CD: $46.99
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