Skip to main content

Raisa, Rosa


RAISA, ROSA (née Raisa Burchstein ; 1893–1963), dramatic soprano. Born in Bialystok, Poland, Raisa fled from there following the 1907 pogroms and settled on Capri. She studied at the Conservatorium of Naples with Barbara Marchisio, the famous 19th-century "bel canto" contralto. Conductor Cleofonte Campanim, the director of the Chicago Opera, contracted the 20-year-old Raisa for a debut in Parma's Teatro Regio in Verdi's first opera, Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio, inaugurating a special festival of operas commemorating the hundredth anniversary of Verdi's birth. Her immediate success prompted him to take Raisa to the United States for her North America debut. Her first professional seasons witnessed debuts at London's Covent Garden singing Aida opposite Enrico Caruso as well as appearances in Paris, at the Rome Opera, and La Scala, Milan.

Raisa spent the major part of her career with the Chicago Opera as principal dramatic soprano from 1913 to 1937. Her best known roles were as Aida, Gioconda, Norma, Santuzza, Maliella in Jewels of the Madonna and Rachel in La Juive. She also appeared on the stages of South America (Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Rio do Janeiro, and Sao Paulo) and Mexico. Arturo Toscanini, whose admiration for her voice and art, led him to name her in 1916 the "Tamagno of dramatic sopranos," brought her back to La Scala (1924–1926) and cast her in the world premieres of Boito's posthumous Nerone and Puccini's posthumous Turandot. Raisa sang numberous concerts throughout the United States with her husband, the Italian baritone, Giacomo Rimini. Her programs often included Russian and Yiddish art and folk songs. She made numerous appearances for Jewish charities and causes. Upon her retirement in 1938 she and Rimini opened a voice school in Chicago.

Raisa was noted for her large and richly colored voice with its brilliant upper register, the technical control and ease of her delivery, as well as the emotionalism, sincerity, and beauty of her stage portrayals.

[Charles B. Mintzer]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Raisa, Rosa." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 17 Jan. 2019 <>.

"Raisa, Rosa." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (January 17, 2019).

"Raisa, Rosa." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved January 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.