Rasi, Francesco , Italian tenor and composer; b. Arezzo, May 14, 1574; d. Mantua, Dec. 9(?), 1621. He was born into the nobility. He received training from Caccini, and appeared as a singer and chitarrone player in his youth at the court in Florence. After winning success in Rome in 1593, he toured throughout Italy with Gesualdo and accompanied the Bishop of Caserta to Poland. In 1598 he entered the service of the Gonzaga family in Mantua, whom he accompanied on their travels in Europe. He sang Amyntas in Peri’s Euridice and appeared in Caccini’s Il rapimento di Cefalo in Florence in 1600. In 1607 he created Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Mantua. He portrayed Apollo in M. da Gagliano’s Dafne in Mantua in 1608. After being implicated in a murder in 1610, he was banned from Tuscany until 1620. During the interim, he sang in various north Italian courts. He composed an opera, Cibele, ed Ati (1617; music not extant), a dramatic work, Elvidia rapita (e. 1618; music not extant), Latin motets, and songs, and also publ. 2 vols, of monodies (Venice, 1608; Florence, 1610).
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire