Music

The Greatest Living Opera Singers 

Buster McDermott
Updated April 26, 2020 133.5k votes 9.3k voters 339k views 78 items

List Rules Vote up the best opera singers who are still alive today

While modern entertainment is drastically different than it was in history, art forms like ballet, theatre, and the opera are still some of the most moving experiences in live entertainment. Opera is a powerful performance that typically combines incredible singing and drama. It is still a popular form of entertainment today, and there are many highly skilled performers singing opera for modern audiences.

Who are the best living opera singers? This list features the most popular current opera singers in the world, ranked by the community. Some of the great, modern opera singers on this list are also among the best opera singers of all time.

The best living opera singers on this list range every voice type and include talented musicians like Roberto Alagna, Plácido Domingo, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Angela Gheorghiu, Kathleen Battle, Jessye Norman, and Cecilia Bartoli. Vote up the best living opera singers below or add an opera singer you think is great, who is still alive, but isn't already on the list.
list ordered by
1
Leontyne Price is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Francisco Flores added

Albums: Ernani (RCA Italiana Orchestra and Chorus feat. conductor: Thomas Schippers), Aida (London Symphony Orchestra feat. soprano: Leontyne Price, tenor: Plácido Domingo), Leontyne Price Rediscovered, Madama Butterfly (Orchestra e Coro della RCA Italiana feat. conductor: Erich Leinsdorf, + more

Mary Violet Leontyne Price (born February 10, 1927) is an American soprano. Born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi, she rose to international acclaim in the 1950s and 1960s, and was the first ...more

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#118 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #2 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #2 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

2
Megan Marie Hart is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Megan Marie Hart (born 1983) is an American operatic soprano from Eugene, Oregon. A member of the Landestheater Detmold, she has appeared in leading operatic roles and concerts in America and

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#26 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #1 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #1 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

3
Jessye Norman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
voting closed at #3 Genre: Opera, Spiritual & Classical music; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: With a Song in My Heart, Symphonie No. 9 / Symphonie No. 6 "Pastorale", Bluebeard's Castle, Amazing Grace, In the Spirit, + more

Jessye Mae Norman (born September 15, 1945) is an American opera singer and recitalist. A dramatic soprano, Norman is associated in particular with the Wagnerian repertoire, and with the roles ...more

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#256 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #1,053 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #198 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

4
Renée Fleming is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Renée Fleming Genre: Opera and Jazz; Nationality: United States of America

Albums: Dark Hope, Great Opera Moments II, Elijah, Under the Stars, Star Crossed Lovers, + more

Renée Lynn Fleming (born February 14, 1959) is an American soprano, known for performances in opera, concerts, recordings, theater, film, and at major public occasions. Fleming has a full ...more

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#210 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #13 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time #35 of 96 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time

5
Jonas Kaufmann is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Die Walküre, Twilight of the Gods: The Ultimate Wagner Ring Collection, Madama Butterfly, Wagner, Mozart / Schubert / Beethoven / Wagner, + more

Jonas Kaufmann (born 10 July 1969) is a German operatic tenor. He is best known for his performances in spinto roles such as Don José in Carmen, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Maurizio in Adriana ...more

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#64 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #31 of 82 The Greatest Tenors of All Time

6
Elīna Garanča is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Алпан Балкыш added

Albums: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Wiener Symphoniker feat. conductor Fabio Luisi), Anna Bolena, The Opera Gala: Live from Baden-Baden (SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg feat. conductor Marco Armiliato), Aria cantilena, Arie Favorite, + more

Elīna Garanča is a Latvian operatic lyric mezzo-soprano. With a musical family background, she began to study singing in her hometown of Riga in 1996 and continued her studies in Vienna and in ...more

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#50 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #22 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time

7
Sondra Radvanovsky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
LoïseAttal added
Sondra Dee Radvanovsky (born 11 April 1969) is an American-Canadian soprano. Specializing in 19th-century Italian opera, Radvanovsky has been called one of the leading Verdi sopranos of her ...more
8
Marcelo Álvarez ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Marcelo Álvarez sings Gardel

Marcelo Raúl Álvarez (born February 27, 1962) is an Argentine lyric tenor who achieved international success starting in the mid-1990s. Álvarez travels widely, performing ...more
9
Juan Diego Flórez... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Great Opera Moments II, Great Tenor Arias, Una furtiva lagrima: Donizetti & Bellini Arias (Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano Giuseppe Verdi feat. conductor: Riccardo Frizza, tenor: Juan Diego Flórez), Arias for Rubini, + more

Juan Diego Flórez (born January 13, 1973) is a Peruvian operatic tenor, particularly known for his roles in bel canto operas. On June 4, 2007, he received his country's highest ...more

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#18 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #33 of 82 The Greatest Tenors of All Time

10
Erwin Schrott is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Erwin Schrott (born 21 December 1972 in Montevideo, Uruguay) is an operatic bass-baritone, particularly known for his interpretation of the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni.
11
José Carreras is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
lilithfeyr added Genre: Opera; Nationality: Spain

Albums: Christmas in Vienna, The Best of Christmas in Vienna, The Tenors, Ténors, Tu Tu Amore: Puccini's Greatest Love Songs, + more

Josep Maria Carreras i Coll (Catalan: [ʒuˈzɛb məˈɾi.ə kəˈreɾəs i ˈkɔʎ]; born 5 December 1946), better known as José Carreras (, Spanish: [xoˈse kaˈreɾas]), is a Spanish tenor who is ...more

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#85 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #14 of 82 The Greatest Tenors of All Time #195 of 370 340+ Uncircumcised Celebrities

12
Thomas Hampson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Concentus Musicis Wien, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Das Alte Werk, TELDEC, The Hyperion Schubert Edition, + more

Thomas Walter Hampson (born June 28, 1955) is an American lyric baritone, a classical singer who has appeared world-wide in major opera houses and concert halls and made over 170 musical ...more

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#72 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #102 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

13
Kathleen Battle is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Kathleen Battle

Albums: Kathleen Battle in Concert, Kathleen Battle at Carnegie Hall, Requiem, Grace, Lieder (soprano: Kathleen Battle, + more

Kathleen Deanna Battle (born August 13, 1948) is an American operatic soprano known for her distinctive vocal range and tone. Born in Portsmouth, Ohio, Battle initially became known for her work ...more

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#38 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time #16 of 96 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time

14
Renata Scotto is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
gnicholls added

Albums: Rigoletto (Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto, Rome Opera House Orchestra & Chorus feat. conductor: Carlo Maria Giulini), Madama Butterfly, Nabucco (Philharmonia Orchestra feat. conductor: Riccardo Muti), + more

Renata Scotto (born 24 February 1934) is an Italian soprano and opera director. Recognized for her sense of style, her musicality, and as a remarkable singer-actress, Scotto is considered one of ...more

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#69 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #87 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #7 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years

15
Edita Gruberová ... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Lilytabby added

Albums: The Concert Arias, Die 10 Symphonien / Orchesterlieder (feat. conductor: Giuseppe Sinopoli)

Edita Gruberová (born 23 December 1946), is a Slovak coloratura soprano. She is noted for her great tonal clarity, agility, dramatic power, endurance, and ability to sing high notes with ...more

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#135 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #242 of 453 The Greatest Singers of the Past 30 Years #115 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time

16
Teresa Stratas is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
gnicholls added

Albums: Stratas Sings Weill (New York Chamber Symphony feat. soprano: Teresa Stratas, conductor: Gerard Schwarz), Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci (Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano feat. conductor: Georges Prêtre)

Teresa Stratas, OC (born May 26, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario), is a retired Canadian operatic soprano of Greek descent. She is especially well known for her award-winning recording of Alban Berg's
17
Roberto Alagna is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: France

Albums: Sanctus: Sacred Songs, Bel Canto, Roberto Alagna chante Luis Mariano, Sicilien, Serenades, + more

Roberto Alagna (French pronunciation: ​[ʁɔ.bɛʁ.to a.la.ɲa]; Italian pronunciation: [roˈbɛrto aˈlaɲɲa]; born 7 June 1963) is a French tenor. He was born in Clichy-sous-Bois, Seine-Saint-Denis, ...more

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#31 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #29 of 82 The Greatest Tenors of All Time

18
Plácido Domingo ... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Genre: Opera and Musical; Nationality: Spain

Albums: Christmas in Vienna, Christmas in Vienna III, Christmas in Vienna II, The Best of Christmas in Vienna, Christmas in Vienna VI, + more

José Plácido Domingo Embil (born 21 January 1941) is a Spanish opera singer, conductor and arts administrator. He has recorded over a hundred complete operas and is well known for ...more

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#260 of 274 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities in the World #459 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #137 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

19
Rolando Villazón ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Алпан Балкыш added Genre: Opera; Nationality: Mexico

Albums: Duets, Gitano, Opera Recital (Münchner Rundfunkorchester feat. conductor: Michel Plasson, tenor: Rolando Villazón), Tenor, + more

Rolando Villazón Mauleón (born February 22, 1972) is a French/Mexican tenor. He now lives in France, and in 2007 he became a French citizen.Villazón has published several ...more

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#24 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #35 of 82 The Greatest Tenors of All Time

20
Diana Damrau is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Arie di bravura: Salieri / Righini / Mozart, Lieder, Coloraturas

Diana Damrau (German pronunciation: [diːˈana ˈdamʁaʊ]; born 31 May 1971 in Günzburg) is a German operatic soprano. She is particularly associated to works of Mozart, Strauss and the Italian ...more

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#61 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #23 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time #28 of 96 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time

21
Anna Netrebko is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Duets, Great Opera Moments II, I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Wiener Symphoniker feat. conductor Fabio Luisi), Souvenirs (feat. soprano: Anna Netrebko), Sempre libera (feat. soprano: Anna Netrebko), + more

Anna Yuryevna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко; born 18 September 1971) is a Russian operatic soprano. She holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenships and resides in Vienna, Austria, ...more

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#62 of 146 The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time #14 of 138 The Greatest Female Opera Singers of All Time #33 of 96 The Greatest Sopranos of All Time

22
Sherrill Milnes is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Francisco Flores added

Albums: Joan of Arc, A Masked Ball, Rigoletto (London Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Richard Bonynge, baritone: Sherrill Milnes, soprano: Joan Sutherland, + more

Sherrill Milnes (born January 10, 1935) is an American dramatic baritone most famous for his Verdi roles. From 1965 until 1997 he was associated with the Metropolitan Opera. His voice is a high ...more
23
Dmitri Hvorostovsky is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
mandragora added Dmitri Hvorostovsky
24
Ferruccio Furlanetto is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers

Albums: Massenet: Don Quichotte

Ferruccio Furlanetto (born 16 May 1949 in Sacile, Italy) is an Italian bass. His professional debut was in 1974 in Lonigo, he debuted at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 1979, in a production ...more
25
Samuel Ramey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Living Opera Singers
Shrewby Spitzmaus added

Albums: Ten Top Baritones & Basses, Messiah, Samuel Ramey Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein, Carols of Christmas, Opera Arias

Samuel Edward Ramey (born March 28, 1942, Colby, Kansas) is an American operatic bass.At the height of his career he was greatly admired for his range and versatility, having possessed a ...more