singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
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8.8k votes 1.8k voters 63.4k 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
601 193
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
264 119
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

3
301 132
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

4
212 90
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

5
183 78
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Birgit Nilsson Västra Karup, Sweden

6
201 83
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

7
216 116
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
128 54
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

9
203 94
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

10
152 75
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

11
230 138
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

12
184 107
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

13
147 75
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Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States of America

14
126 70
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

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15
80 36
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

16
155 92
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Beverly Sills New York City, New York, United States of America

17
85 38
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Lucia Popp Záhorská Ves, Austria

18
113 65
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

19
113 73
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

20
88 33
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
81 42
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

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22
68 44
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

23
57 25
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
70 41
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

25
57 27
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

26
62 44
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

27
38 14
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
70 48
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, Kansas, United States of America

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29
55 39
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

30
35 21
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

31
63 54
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, United States of America

32
22 7
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, England

33
51 47
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

34
33 24
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
23 10
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett USA, New Orleans, Louisiana

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36
18 6
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

37
17 6
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

38
20 10
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
14 5
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
35 30
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

41
17 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
19 11
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

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43
24 20
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, USA, New York

44
40 43
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

45
15 9
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

46
16 10
Sondra Radvanovsky is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Sondra Radvanovsky Berwyn, Illinois, United States of America

47
28 24
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Astrid Varnay Stockholm, Sweden

48
33 34
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

49
17 13
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

50
12 12
Hariclea Darclée is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Valentina Badici added Hariclea Darclée Brăila, Sud-Est, Romania