Frank Corsaro

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Frank Corsaro (born December 22, 1924 in New York City) is one of America's foremost stage directors of opera and theatre. His Broadway productions include The Night of the Iguana (with Bette Davis, 1961).

Corsaro attended De Witt Clinton High School in the Bronx, and had attended Immaculata High School in Manhattan before returning to DeWitt Clinton.[1]

Corsaro made his operatic directing debut at the New York City Opera in 1958 with a staging of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah. It was this production that the company took to the Brussels World's Fair that year, starring Phyllis Curtin, Norman Treigle and Richard Cassilly. He was to become one of the City Opera's leading directors, creating such important productions as The Fiery Angel (by Prokofiev), La traviata (with Patricia Brooks and Plácido Domingo), Madama Butterfly, The Crucible (featuring Chester Ludgin), Faust (with Beverly Sills and Treigle), Prince Igor (by Borodin), The Makropulos Affair (with Maralin Niska), Summer and Smoke (by Lee Hoiby), Médée (in the Italian version), Die tote Stadt (with Carol Neblett), The Cunning Little Vixen (in designs by Maurice Sendak), Alban Berg's Lulu (with Ronald Chase), and Carmen.

Corsaro directed the world premieres of two of Floyd's later operas, Of Mice and Men (1970) and Flower and Hawk (1972). He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1984, with Handel's Rinaldo, starring Marilyn Horne and Samuel Ramey.

Corsaro has written several libretti for operas. These include Heloise and Abelard by Stephen Paulus[2] and Frau Margot by Thomas Pasatieri[3] whose opera, The Seagull, he directed at its premiere.

As an actor, Corsaro appeared in the 1968 film, Rachel, Rachel (as Hector Jonas), opposite Joanne Woodward, directed by her husband, Paul Newman. In 1988, he became the head of the Actors Studio.[4]



  1. ^ Henahan, Donal. "When the stage director takes on the opera; Says Frank Corsaro: 'My productions are supposed to be so sensational and sexual, but what in God's name is the theater all about? Theater is vulgar in the best sense'", The New York Times, November 12, 1972. Accessed September 15, 2009. "'I attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for a while and the Immaculata High School on East 33rd Street, but they threw me out after awarding me a prize for oratory. So I went back to DeWitt Clinton.'"
  2. ^ Johanna Keller (21 April 2002). "Love and Lust In Opera? Nothing New. But God?". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Matthew Gurewitsch (27 May 2007). "A Keeper of the Flame Who Tried to Snuff It". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2007. 
  4. ^ Jeremy Gerard (8 April 1988). "Frank Corsaro to Head Actors Studio". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2007. 

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Preceded by
Ellen Burstyn
Artistic Director of the Actors Studio
Succeeded by
Arthur Penn