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The Dallas Opera mourns loss of co-founder


by Anne Bothwell 5 Aug 2008

Opera lovers are mourning the death of Nicola Rescigno in Italy. Below is a statement from Jonathon Pell, Director of Artistic Administration at The Dallas Opera. More on the Opera’s blog. And the obituary. “All of us at The Dallas Opera were truly saddened to hear of Maestro Nicola Rescigno’s death yesterday. Our Co-Founder not […]

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Opera lovers are mourning the death of Nicola Rescigno in Italy. Below is a statement from Jonathon Pell, Director of Artistic Administration at The Dallas Opera. More on the Opera’s blog. And the obituary.

“All of us at The Dallas Opera were truly saddened to hear of Maestro Nicola Rescigno’s death yesterday. Our Co-Founder not only helped to shape the operatic landscape of both Dallas and Chicago, but was instrumental in bringing some of the finest international talent to the United States. Among the many artists who made their US debuts with him were Teresa Berganza, Monserrat Caballé, Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, Magda Olivero, Dame Joan Sutherland, and Jon Vickers. In addition to his many performances in Dallas and Chicago, Maestro Rescigno also conducted at the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and some of the most important opera theaters in Italy, including Rome’s Opera House, the San Carlo in Naples and La Fenice in Venice.

“In addition to his performances in the theater, he also made numerous recordings. It is the end of an era. He was a remarkable man, and there certainly would not have been an opera company in Dallas like ours if it had not been for him. Singers loved working with him and he always insisted on maintaining the highest musical standards. “


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  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Nicola Rescigno is a part of Dallas’ amazing 1950s artistic legacy and a loss that must be acknowledged. The Dallas Opera along with Margo Jones (which KERA so beautifully profiled last year), my parents were artist musician writers and I met them all, including Tennessee Williams and Rescigno at our East Dallas home. It was a time of great promise for Dallas on an international stage. That ball was dropped long ago but in this age, it seems clear to me that the grass roots may have died but the future of great art in a great city is all but certain.

    To those who tossed the first stones into that pond, like Mr. Rescigno who was charming and persuasive and incisive, thanks for the memories and my hometown’s unlikely legacy.

    Postscript:
    Believe it or not, I was a kid in Dallas in the 50s when my mother took me to see and hear Maria Callas in her American debut. I never really cared for opera before or since, but that night I was like a kid placed into a spaceship and sent to another galaxy. I was so young and yet I remember that being the first time I ever realized how much more exciting and luminously intelligent-powerful a grown woman was than a girl. Or for that matter most men, certainly of that era. I discovered my lifelong fascination with the feminine mystique that night at the Dallas Opera watching a wildly unrestrained original run wild like a colt through a meadow after being corralled. It was intoxicating.

  • Thanks for sharing your comment. Your postscript made the loss even more profound to me.