Singers The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time  

Buster McDermott
Originally by
30.8k votes 3.3k voters 218.8k views 186 items

List Rules Vote up the top famous opera singers in history, of any voice type.

Opera isn’t a genre with which the average person is very familiar. In modern entertainment, opera and theatrical drama has drawn smaller audiences than it once did years ago. However, opera can be a beautiful experience, there’s nothing quite the raw power of the skilled human voice filling an entire room, communicating drama and romance. It takes an incredibly well-trained voice to sing opera, but the musicians on this list have mastered the craft.

Who are the best opera singers of all time? The opera singers on this list are history’s all time best performers. They come from a variety of backgrounds and time periods, but the effect they had on the world of music and opera is incredible. An opera singer is a finely-tuned, highly skilled musician who has a unique, powerful voice, and can deliver a breathtaking live performance.

This list features the best opera singers in the world's history, ranked by the community. Some of the great opera singers on this list include Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Maria Callas, Plácido Domingo, and Mario Lanza. Vote up the best opera singers in history below, or add a talented opera singer who isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
866 594
Luciano Pavarotti is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 72 (1935-2007)

2
387 80
Dmitri Hvorostovsky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

3
557 403
Enrico Caruso is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 48 (1873-1921)

4
642 555
Maria Callas is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 54 (1923-1977)

5
571 361
Joan Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 84 (1926-2010)

6
553 276
Beniamino Gigli is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 67 (1890-1957)

7
519 487
Plácido Domingo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

8
453 281
Jussi Björling is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 49 (1911-1960)

9
397 205
Feodor Chaliapin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 65 (1873-1938)

10
469 334
Franco Corelli is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 82 (1921-2003)

11
172 88
Elīna Garanča is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

12
323 248
Jonas Kaufmann is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

13
410 328
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 87 (1925-2012)

14
375 287
Mario del Monaco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
mikhail0623 added Died at 67 (1915-1982)

15
274 225
Anna Netrebko is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 46

16
243 229
Birgit Nilsson is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
joão-vitor added Died at 87 (1918-2005)

17
241 187
Giuseppe Di Stefano is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Valentina Badici added Died at 87 (1921-2008)

18
165 129
Mirella Freni is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 83

19
306 239
Fritz Wunderlich is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Fritz Wunderlich

20
312 243
Leontyne Price is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

21
276 182
Renee Fleming is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Renee Fleming

22
281 218
Renata Tebaldi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 82 (1922-2004)

23
234 170
Carlo Bergonzi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 90 (1924-2014)

24
295 294
José Carreras is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

25
241 204
Jessye Norman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 72

26
162 109
Marian Anderson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 96 (1897-1993)

27
353 327
Mario Lanza is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 38 (1921-1959)

28
213 160
Montserrat Caballé is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added age 84

29
236 184
Elisabeth Schwarzkopf is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 91 (1915-2006)

30
240 137
Victoria de los Angeles is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Victoria de los Angeles

31
235 310
Kiri Te Kanawa is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
SvanbjörgSverrisdóttir added age 74

32
105 46
Anna Moffo is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 74 (1932-2006)

33
176 156
Marilyn Horne is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 84

34
94 55
Edita Gruberová is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

35
210 198
Cecilia Bartoli is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

36
203 170
Kirsten Flagstad is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Kirsten Flagstad

37
74 31
Alfredo Kraus is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Genevieve77 added Died at 72 (1927-1999)

38
225 172
Nicolai Gedda is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Nicolai Gedda

39
104 58
Tito Gobbi is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 71 (1913-1984)

40
104 78
Sherrill Milnes is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
ilikehistory added age 83

41
75 24
Lucia Popp is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added Died at 54 (1939-1993)

42
116 75
Nicolaï Ghiaurov is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 75 (1929-2004)

43
93 104
Diana Damrau is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Michael Hartman-Fiedler added age 46

44
117 97
Lauritz Melchior is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 83 (1890-1973)

45
155 136
Bryn Terfel is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 52

46
56 22
Teresa Stratas is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time

47
96 49
Tito Schipa is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Died at 77 (1888-1965)

48
89 46
Renata Scotto is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
age 84

49
132 104
Juan Diego Flórez is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
Giovanni Collareta added age 45

50
89 49
Jon Vickers is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Opera Singers of All Time
gnicholls added age 91