Singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
9.9k votes 2.1k voters 70.2k views 129 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
656 218
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
304 131
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Barcelona, Spain

3
345 151
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

4
232 98
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

5
221 90
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

6
196 85
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Birgit Nilsson Sweden, Västra Karup

7
239 128
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
226 106
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

9
252 150
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

10
202 116
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

11
136 64
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

12
162 83
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

13
129 70
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

14
161 87
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Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA

15
87 42
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

16
133 77
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

17
163 102
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Beverly Sills New York City, USA, New York

18
94 44
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Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

19
69 29
Frederica von Stade is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
CotaitCirce added Frederica von Stade Somerville, USA, New Jersey

20
95 51
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

21
97 39
Victoria De Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
angus-stuart added Victoria De Los Angeles

22
79 46
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

23
67 32
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

24
74 50
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

25
52 17
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Anna Moffo Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States of America

26
44 7
Leyla Gencer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Алпан Балкыш added Leyla Gencer Polonezköy, Turkey

27
118 84
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

28
76 53
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, Kansas, United States of America

29
67 49
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

30
77 60
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, United States of America

31
42 25
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

32
61 43
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

33
28 9
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, United Kingdom

34
25 10
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

35
29 15
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

36
36 27
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

37
58 55
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

38
20 8
Christa Ludwig is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Pedro Perez added Christa Ludwig Berlin, Germany

39
23 11
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

40
25 14
Virginia Zeani is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Virginia Zeani Transylvania, Romania

41
20 10
Victoria de los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Victoria de los Angeles

42
26 16
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

43
21 13
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

44
44 48
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

45
22 15
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

46
36 35
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

47
26 24
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, USA, New York

48
35 40
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Deborah Voigt Wheeling, Illinois, United States of America

49
18 12
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

50
35 36
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria