About Raissa in a glance:
On Broadway: “Christine Daae” in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and CHESS, as a benefit for the Actor’s Fund. First National Tours: “Jellylorum/Griddlebone” and “Jennyanydots” in CATS, and as “Lizzie Phagan” in PARADE, where she worked with the original creative team of director Harold Prince, choreographer Patricia Birch, author Alfred Uhry, and composer Jason Robert Brown.
In NYC, Raissa has headlined at: Feinstein’s, Metropolitan Room, Iridium and The Laurie Beechman Theatre. She has guest starred at: The Supper Club, Rainbow Room, 88’s, Don’t Tell Mama, Chita’s, The Algonquin, and Radio City Music Hall. She has soloed with many symphony orchestras and was guest soloist at the estate of the legendary Cal Ripken, Jr. She was featured at the Lincoln Center Barnes and Noble in their Any Wednesday series, performing selections from her CD, What I Was Dreaming Of. Her newest CD, Another Kind of Light, was released through LML Music, August, 2012, and can be purchased there or on Amazon and iTunes.
Raissa was nominated for a 2013 MAC Award for Major Artist, for a 2009 MAC Award for Outstanding Female Vocalist. In 2008, Raissa had the idea to bring the world of cabaret, jazz, Broadway, and classical music to city green spaces as a way for diverse audiences to enjoy a free event and to broaden the appreciation of both of these amazing artists and the parks we so often take for granted. Annually since then, hundreds of people who otherwise may never have experienced this cultural art form have enjoyed many nights of amazing music under the trees. She received the 2010 Bistro Award and 2011 MAC Award for Outstanding Achievement as the creator, producer and host of THE PARKS CONCERT SERIES. In 2014, she was awarded a special Ruth Kurtzman Benefit Series MAC Award for this series. She was also nominated for 4 Broadway World Awards in 2012, and 1 in 2013. She writes a blog, “Raissa Recommends”, that highlights performances in the NYC cabaret and theater, and promotes animal rescue and a kinder, more verdant world. She is also a Reiki Master, and Platform Assistant/Chaplain, at Unity Center of Norwalk, CT.
One of her passions is training rescue dogs with behavioral issues, to make them more adoptable. She has volunteered extensively, in this capacity and as a dog foster, with the ASPCA, the Humane Society and Shih Tzu Fur Baby Rescue.
Raissa lives in New York City with her husband Dr. Garrett Bennett, a Facial Plastic and Sinus surgeon, and their 3 tiny rescue dogs, Otie (an 11 year old Chihuahua), Phoebe (a 7 year old Toy Fox Terrier), and Molly (an 11 year old Havanese).
They live in Tudor City in Manhattan, and also enjoy a weekend home in Milford, CT.