Singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
9.4k votes 2k voters 68.1k 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
635 207
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
321 142
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

3
275 128
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Barcelona, Spain

4
221 95
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

5
191 82
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Birgit Nilsson Sweden, Västra Karup

6
211 87
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

7
43 3
Leyla Gencer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Алпан Балкыш added Leyla Gencer Polonezköy, Turkey

8
231 124
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

9
213 102
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

10
244 145
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

11
130 61
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

12
158 80
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

13
192 113
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

14
152 83
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Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, USA

15
83 40
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

16
121 69
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

17
127 74
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

18
89 41
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Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

19
158 99
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Beverly Sills New York City, USA, New York

20
61 28
Frederica von Stade is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
CotaitCirce added Frederica von Stade Somerville, USA, New Jersey

21
88 48
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

22
72 48
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

23
116 79
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

24
75 45
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

25
90 37
Victoria De Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
angus-stuart added Victoria De Los Angeles

26
61 31
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

27
46 17
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Anna Moffo Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States of America

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

29
65 47
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

30
59 41
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

31
70 59
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, USA

32
37 24
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

33
24 8
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, United Kingdom

34
22 8
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

35
55 51
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

36
21 8
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

37
26 13
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

38
34 27
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

39
23 13
Virginia Zeani is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Virginia Zeani Transylvania, Romania

40
16 7
Christa Ludwig is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Pedro Perez added Christa Ludwig Berlin, Germany

41
16 8
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
23 15
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

43
43 46
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

44
36 33
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, New York, United States of America

45
21 14
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
19 12
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

47
26 23
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
18 11
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

49
35 35
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

50
33 40
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Deborah Voigt Wheeling, Illinois, United States of America