He made his debut in 1943, conducting La Traviata at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He then toured the USA with the San Carlo Opera Company and served as music director for the Connecticut Opera and Havana Opera.
In 1953, Rescigno was one of three founders of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, along with Carol Fox and Lawrence Kelly. Four years later, Kelly and Rescigno moved to Dallas to found the Dallas Opera where he remained until 1990 while continuing a busy free-lance career that took him to most of the major opera houses of the world. Rescigno was particularly associated with the soprano Maria Callas, but conducted and recorded with many other singers. His performances include the US debuts of Callas and Montserrat Caballé, Plácido Domingo, Joan Sutherland, Teresa Berganza, Magda Olivero Jon Vickers, etc.
Jonathan Pell, the Dallas Opera director of artistic administration, says he received a phone call Monday afternoon from Rescigno's nephew, who had been informed of his uncle's death by the hospital in Viterbo (Italy).