Raisa, Rosa (1893–1963)

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Raisa, Rosa (1893–1963)

Polish-born soprano. Born Rose Burchstein on May 30, 1893, in Bialystock, Poland; died on September 28, 1963, in Los Angeles, California; married Giacomo Rimini (1887–1952, a baritone); studied with Eva Tetrazzini and Barbara Marchisio .

Debuted as Leonora in Oberto in Parma (1913); debuted at the Chicago Opera (1913), Covent Garden (1914), Teatro alla Scala (1916); primarily associated with the Chicago Opera (1913–37).

Rosa Raisa was closely associated with the city of Chicago where she performed and was greatly admired for many years. Since the Chicago Opera toured the country every year for three months, she appeared throughout America. Chicago was then a world-class music center, so her importance in that city is significant. In addition, she performed for several seasons in Mexico, South America, and Europe. Her European career was capped by three seasons with Toscanini at the Teatro alla Scala, where she performed in world-premiere performances of Turandot and Boito's Nerone. Raisa's voice was voluminous and brilliant; she was a true dramatic soprano. Hers was a wide-ranging, physically powerful voice, though weak in the middle range as recordings confirm. Raisa made five groups of recordings from 1917 to 1933, a period in which capturing the full range and power of a voice like hers was difficult. Most of these recordings are not remarkable, but a few demonstrate her great ability. Rosa Raisa is remembered for her work with Claudia Muzio ; the two shared nine seasons together in Chicago.

John Haag , Athens, Georgia

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