singers The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
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8.9k votes 1.9k voters 64.5k 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
607 196
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

2
266 121
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

3
303 135
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

4
215 91
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

5
185 79
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Birgit Nilsson Västra Karup, Sweden

6
203 84
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

7
218 117
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
203 98
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

9
128 57
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

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

11
232 140
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

12
185 109
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

13
148 77
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Marilyn Horne Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States of America

14
126 71
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

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15
80 37
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

16
155 94
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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
114 67
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

19
113 74
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

20
89 34
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
82 44
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

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22
69 45
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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 42
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

25
57 28
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

26
62 45
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

27
38 15
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
71 49
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, Kansas, United States of America

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29
55 40
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

30
35 22
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

31
64 56
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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
19 6
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

34
33 25
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
18 6
Giulietta Simionato is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Giulietta Simionato Forlì, Italy

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36
51 49
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

37
23 11
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
20 11
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
35 31
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

40
14 6
Victoria de los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Victoria de los Angeles

41
17 9
Margaret Price is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Margaret Price Blackwood, United Kingdom

42
40 44
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

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43
19 12
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

44
24 21
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, USA, New York

45
19 13
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Lefkada, Greece

46
15 10
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

47
16 11
Sondra Radvanovsky is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Sondra Radvanovsky Berwyn, Illinois, United States of America

48
33 34
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

49
28 25
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Astrid Varnay Stockholm, Sweden

50
12 13
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