Open main menu

Frank Corsaro (December 22, 1924, New York City, New York – November 11, 2017, Suwanee, Georgia[1]) was one of America's foremost stage directors of opera and theatre. His Broadway productions include The Night of the Iguana (1961).


A graduate of De Witt Clinton High School,[2] he 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.[citation needed]

He became one of the City Opera's leading directors, creating such important productions as Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel, Verdi's La traviata (with Patricia Brooks and Plácido Domingo), Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Robert Ward's The Crucible (featuring Chester Ludgin), Gounod's Faust (with Beverly Sills and Treigle), Borodin's Prince Igor, Janáček's The Makropulos Affair (with Maralin Niska), Lee Hoiby's Summer and Smoke, Cherubini's Médée (in the Italian version), Korngold's Die tote Stadt (with Carol Neblett), Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen (in designs by Maurice Sendak) and Bizet's Carmen.[1]

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.[citation needed]

Corsaro wrote several librettos for operas, including Heloise and Abelard by Stephen Paulus[3] and Frau Margot by Thomas Pasatieri[4] 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.[5]


  • Maverick, by Frank Corsaro, Vanguard Press, 1978. ISBN 0-8149-0790-3


  1. ^ a b Robert Viagas: Night of the Iguana Director Frank Corsaro Is Dead at 92
  2. ^ 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.'"
  3. ^ Johanna Keller (April 21, 2002). "Love and Lust In Opera? Nothing New. But God?". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
  4. ^ Matthew Gurewitsch (May 27, 2007). "A Keeper of the Flame Who Tried to Snuff It". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.
  5. ^ Jeremy Gerard (April 8, 1988). "Frank Corsaro to Head Actors Studio". The New York Times. Retrieved December 24, 2007.

External linksEdit