Born on 10 January 1882 in
Focsani, Romania, to the actors Issachar Goldstein and
his wife, Sophie, who later married Max Karp, who
adopted her as his daughter.
As a four-year-old child,
she arrived with her mother in America, where she
learned in a public school, then completed high school.
At the age of eight she performed in a children's role
with her mother. From time to time she used to sing
songs on the stage with Mogulesko, but this was
interrupted, and at the age of twelve she performed in a
prima donna role under the direction of Leon Blank. She
stood out, but again she interrupted her acting until
she was age sixteen, and she traveled with her parents
to California, where she acted for several months.
Returning to New York, she again cut short her stage
activity, until her mother's death.
In 1905-06 she joined
Thomashefsky's "People's" Theatre, where she acted for a
long time in the prima donna role in "Prince Alexander",
then with Adler in the "Windsor" Theatre as a singing
prima donna, then opened the "Second Avenue" Theatre
with Kessler, later over to Thomashefsky in his
"National" Theatre., then with Louis Goldberg, Bella
Gudinsky, Samuel Rosenstein and Leon Blank, acted as a
partner in the "Lenox" Theatre, but due to the bad
business in the theatre, she went over to Bessie
Thomashefsky in the "People's" Theatre. Around six times
she traveled to California with her own troupes, acting
for several seasons in the "Liberty" Theatre, returning
to Kessler in his
"Second Avenue" Theatre. In
1923, after acting in "Der bobes yerusha", she nearly
retired from the stage, performing in November 1924 in
the "Prospect" Theatre.
K. acted in her theatre
career in almost three hundred roles, from "Libele" in "Kuni
lemel", to "Yede froy".
In her last years, K. was
ill, and in January 1924 underwent an operation and had
since then was under the care of a doctor.
On 29 March 1935 she passed
away in New York, and was brought to her eternal rest at
Mount Hebron Cemetery.
K. was married to the
theatrical lawyer Charles Groll.
She left a daughter, a
painter, who married Dr. Biderman.
In the necrology in "Morning
Journal" [written by Jacob Kirschenbaum], it was said
"Rosa Karp acted in the
theatre when the struggle among the music halls and the
theatres came about, and she, being a trained singer
with a good American-Jewish upbringing, had greatly
assisted in the victory of theatre over the music halls.
She was a beautiful, young woman, had a pleasant voice,
and was attractive to the public and to the critics,
both for her singins as well as her acting. Rosa Karp
especially excelled in Gershom Bader's operetta, "The
Rabbi's Melody", to which Joseph Rumshinsky had written
the music, and in the operetta "Alma, vu voynstu? (Alma,
Where Do You Live?)". These were nearly her last roles,
because she went away from Yiddish theatre in a time
when she had begun to go down. ...Rosa Karp wasn't only
one of the best dramatic sopranos, but she also was a
good dramatic actress, and thus she excelled in David
Pinski's "Yankel der shmid (Yankel the Blacksmith)", and
"Hershnde shklafn", which David Kessler had staged and
Necrology in "Morning
Boris Thomashefsky --
Zayn lebens-bukh, "Forward", N. Y., 2 April 1936.