singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
8.6k votes 1.8k voters 62.2k 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.
list ordered by

1
582 191
Ranker Video
Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
260 114
Ranker Video
agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

3
294 130
Ranker Video
Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

4
182 76
Ranker Video
Birgit Nilsson Västra Karup, Sweden

5
206 90
Ranker Video
Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

6
196 80
Ranker Video
Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

7
211 112
Ranker Video
Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
125 53
Ranker Video
Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

9
197 94
Ranker Video
Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

10
182 104
Ranker Video
Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

11
148 74
Ranker Video
Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

12
224 138
Ranker Video
Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

13
143 73
Ranker Video
Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States of America

14
123 70
Ranker Video
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

The Best Female Rock Singers

15
150 90
Ranker Video
Beverly Sills New York City, New York, United States of America

16
77 36
Ranker Video
Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

17
110 63
Ranker Video
Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

18
82 37
Ranker Video
Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

19
84 31
Victoria De Los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
angus-stuart added Victoria De Los Angeles

20
110 72
Ranker Video
Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

21
78 41
Ranker Video
Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

The Most Beautiful Women of All Time

22
66 43
Ranker Video
Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

23
55 25
Ranker Video
Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

24
66 39
Ranker Video
Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

25
53 24
Frederica von Stade is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
CotaitCirce added Frederica von Stade Somerville, USA, New Jersey

26
59 42
Ranker Video
Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

27
68 47
Ranker Video
Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, Kansas, United States of America

28
35 14
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Anna Moffo Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States of America

The Greatest Female Gospel Singers

29
54 39
Ranker Video
Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

30
33 21
Ranker Video
JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

31
60 54
Ranker Video
JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, United States of America

32
32 24
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

33
19 7
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, England

34
22 10
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

35
49 47
Ranker Video
Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

14 Famous People Who Have PhDs

36
17 6
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

37
16 6
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

38
35 29
Ranker Video
JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

39
19 10
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
19 11
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

41
16 8
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

42
23 19
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, USA, New York

The Best Female Vocalists Ever

43
15 8
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

44
16 9
Sondra Radvanovsky is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Sondra Radvanovsky Berwyn, Illinois, United States of America

45
39 43
Ranker Video
Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

46
11 5
Victoria de los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Victoria de los Angeles

47
28 24
Ranker Video
Astrid Varnay Stockholm, Sweden

48
33 34
Ranker Video
Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

49
12 12
Hariclea Darclée is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Valentina Badici added Hariclea Darclée Brăila, Sud-Est, Romania

50
15 13
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece