Raisa, Rosa [Burchstein, Rose]
- Harold Rosenthal
(b Białystok, May 23, 1893; d Los Angeles, Sept 28, 1963). American soprano of Polish birth. When she was 14 she fled to escape a pogrom and settled in Naples, where she studied with Barbara Marchisio. She made her début as Leonora in Oberto during the 1913 Verdi celebrations at Parma. Later that year she sang Queen Isabella (Cristoforo Colombo) at Philadelphia; she then sang in Chicago (1913–14) and at Covent Garden in 1914. She sang regularly in Chicago, 1916–32 and 1933–6, appearing in the first American performances of Mascagni’s Isabeau, Montemezzi’s La nave and Respighi’s La fiamma. In 1936 she sang Leah in the American première of Rocca’s Il dibuk at Detroit.
Engaged at La Scala, she created Asteria in Boito’s Nerone in 1924 and Turandot in 1926. She returned to Covent Garden in 1933 as Tosca, with her husband, Giacomo Rimini, as Scarpia. She was a thrilling singer and actress, and a great dramatic soprano....