Singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
9.3k votes 1.9k voters 66.3k views 127 items

List Rules Vote up the best female opera singer

While opera isn't the most popular for of modern entertainment, it is still a significant cultural staple in many countries, and can be an incredibly moving experience. An opera singer is skilled in the art of singing, acting, and most importantly, projecting their voice in a powerful way to a live audience, filling the entire theatre with music. Female opera singers can hit the high notes with ease.

Who are the best female opera singers of all time? The talented women featured on this list have made a significant impact in the world of opera, and are incredibly talented. Female opera singers are usually sopranos or altos. If you’re interested in opera and want to see these female singers in action, but can't afford to attend, there are many operas available on DVD as well.

The greatest female opera singers on this list include Maria Callas, Renee Fleming, and Anna Gottlieb. Vote up the best of the best below or add the top female opera singers you think are the best if they aren't already on the list.

1
620 202
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
313 140
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

3
271 127
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

4
220 94
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

5
189 81
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Birgit Nilsson Västra Karup, Sweden

6
207 86
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

7
224 123
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
210 101
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

9
130 60
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

10
157 78
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

11
237 143
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

12
187 112
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

13
151 80
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Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States of America

14
83 40
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

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15
127 74
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

16
158 98
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Beverly Sills New York City, New York, United States of America

17
118 69
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

18
88 41
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Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

19
115 79
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

20
90 37
Victoria De Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
angus-stuart added Victoria De Los Angeles

21
71 48
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

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22
84 48
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

23
59 28
Frederica von Stade is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
CotaitCirce added Frederica von Stade Somerville, USA, New Jersey

24
73 45
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

25
59 31
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

26
42 17
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Anna Moffo Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States of America

27
64 47
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

28
73 52
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, Kansas, United States of America

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29
58 41
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

30
70 59
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, United States of America

31
24 8
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, England

32
36 24
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

33
55 51
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

34
21 8
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

35
21 8
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

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36
25 13
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

37
34 27
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

38
23 13
Virginia Zeani is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Virginia Zeani Transylvania, Romania

39
16 8
Victoria de los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Victoria de los Angeles

40
36 33
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

41
42 46
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

42
22 15
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

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43
21 14
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

44
19 12
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

45
26 23
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, USA, New York

46
18 11
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

47
34 35
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

48
29 26
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Astrid Varnay Stockholm, Sweden

49
17 13
Sondra Radvanovsky is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Sondra Radvanovsky Berwyn, Illinois, United States of America

50
14 10
Leonie Rysanek is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Leonie Rysanek Vienna, Austria