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
464 142
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Maria Callas Manhattan, New York City, New York

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2
194 75
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agapanthus added Montserrat Caballe Spain, Barcelona

3
245 96
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Joan Sutherland Sydney, Australia

4
162 55
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Renata Tebaldi Pesaro, Italy

5
160 64
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Leontyne Price Laurel, Mississippi, United States of America

6
135 52
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Birgit Nilsson Sweden, Västra Karup

7
171 78
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Kiri Te Kanawa Gisborne, New Zealand

8
151 73
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Cecilia Bartoli Rome, Italy

9
121 52
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Jessye Norman Augusta, Georgia, United States of America

10
179 103
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Anna Netrebko Krasnodar, Russia

11
93 39
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Kirsten Flagstad Hamar, Norway

12
147 69
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Renee Fleming Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States of America

13
118 57
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Marilyn Horne USA, Bradford, Pennsylvania

14
127 69
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Beverly Sills New York City, New York, USA

15
65 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
98 52
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Elisabeth Schwarzkopf Jarocin, Poland

17
58 26
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Mirella Freni Italy, Modena

18
58 23
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Lucia Popp Austria

19
82 46
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Diana Damrau Günzburg, Germany

20
90 51
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Angela Gheorghiu Adjud, Romania

21
55 32
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Rosa Ponselle Meriden, Connecticut, United States of America

22
53 26
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Renata Scotto Savona, Italy

23
40 13
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Teresa Berganza Madrid, Spain

24
38 12
Frederica von Stade is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
CotaitCirce added Frederica von Stade Somerville, USA, New Jersey

25
56 27
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Elina Garanca Riga, Latvia

26
56 35
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Joyce DiDonato Prairie Village, USA, Kansas

27
44 30
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Natalie Dessay France, Lyon

28
12 1
Virginia Zeani is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Virginia Zeani Transylvania, Romania

29
44 31
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Anne Sofie von Otter Stockholm, Sweden

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30
47 40
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JimWisdom added Kathleen Battle Portsmouth, Ohio, USA

31
42 36
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Edita Gruberová Slovakia, Bratislava

32
17 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
22 13
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JimWisdom added Grace Bumbry St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

34
20 11
Roberta Peters is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
BitzNera added Roberta Peters New York City, New York, United States of America

35
23 15
Lily Pons is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
joe-freeland added Lily Pons Draguignan, France

36
11 4
Hariclea Darclée is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Valentina Badici added Hariclea Darclée Brăila, Sud-Est, Romania

37
10 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
34 34
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Nellie Melba Richmond, Australia

39
29 25
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Anna Tomowa-Sintow Stara Zagora, Bulgaria

40
10 3
Agnes Baltsa is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Agnes Baltsa Greece, Lefkada

41
8 1
Lotte Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Lotte Lehmann Perleberg, Germany

42
26 23
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JayDeFelice added Risë Stevens New York City, USA, New York

43
9 3
Shirley Verrett is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Shirley Verrett New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

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44
8 2
Janet Baker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Janet Baker Hatfield, England

45
6 3
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OperaPassion added Lisette Oropesa New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

46
10 5
Zinka Milanov is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Stuart Naidich added Zinka Milanov Zagreb, Croatia

47
6 1
Fiorenza Cossotto is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
Fiorenza Cossotto Crescentino, Italy

48
6 2
Elisabeth Schumann is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Elisabeth Schumann Merseburg, Germany

49
28 25
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Régine Crespin Marseille, France

50
6 5
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Alex Violinist added Solomiya Krushelnytska Buchach Raion, Ukraine - Solomiya Krushelnytska (23 September 1872 – 16 November 1952) was one of the brightest soprano opera stars of the first half of the 20th century. Krushelnytska was born in the village of Biliavyntsi, now Buchach Raion, ...