opera singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
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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.
list ordered by

1
480 147
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

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2
254 97
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

3
200 79
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

4
166 57
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

5
167 64
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

6
138 54
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Birgit Nilsson Sweden, Västra Karup

7
181 82
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
159 76
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

9
123 54
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

10
98 39
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

11
125 57
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Marilyn Horne USA, Bradford, Pennsylvania

12
186 106
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

13
153 71
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

14
103 52
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

15
68 19
Victoria De Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
angus-stuart added Victoria De Los Angeles

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16
130 72
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Beverly Sills New York City, New York, USA

17
64 23
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Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

18
62 26
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

19
86 48
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

20
96 54
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

21
55 26
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

22
56 34
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

23
40 13
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
60 29
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

25
42 15
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

26
57 36
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, USA, Kansas

27
46 31
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

28
46 31
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

29
26 13
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

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30
51 41
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, USA

31
44 36
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

32
19 5
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Anna Moffo USA, Wayne, Pennsylvania

33
20 12
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, New York, United States of America

34
23 16
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

35
12 2
Virginia Zeani is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Virginia Zeani Transylvania, Romania

36
12 3
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

37
11 2
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

38
11 5
Hariclea Darclée is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Valentina Badici added Hariclea Darclée Brăila, Sud-Est, Romania

39
35 35
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

40
9 1
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

41
30 26
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

42
27 23
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, New York, United States of America

43
10 4
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

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44
11 5
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

45
7 1
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

46
24 19
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Astrid Varnay Stockholm, Sweden

47
8 3
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, England

48
18 17
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takonyak added Éva Marton Budapest, Hungary

49
6 4
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OperaPassion added Lisette Oropesa New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

50
28 26
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Régine Crespin Marseille, France