Best Opera Singers

Self evident. Listings of all opera stars, male and female of all vocal ranges who have been heard in person or on recordings. Criterion is voice quality, vocal production (placement and breath control), and artistry (musicianship and understanding of the idiom).

The Top Ten

1 Jonathan Antoine Jonathan Antoine Jonathan Antoine is a classically trained English tenor. He rose to fame after appearing on the sixth series of Britain's Got Talent in 2012 as one half of the classical duo Jonathan and Charlotte.

An Angel from God's choir. Jonathan is a gift to the people and should not be taken advantage of. Thank you Jonathan for sharing your gift with us. Thank you for not being selfish with your light and sprinkles.

Such a beautiful voice filled with passion. Once heard it cannot be forgotten. Truly an artist who is making a unique statement and bringing young and old fans to opera. It's about time a fresh new talent makes his mark on the opera.


He's a mere babe in the woods compared to the glorious voices of the established opera singers on this poll. Definitely not number 1 on any of the polls.

2 Luciano Pavarotti Luciano Pavarotti Luciano Pavarotti, Cavaliere di Gran Croce was an Italian operatic tenor who also crossed over into popular music, eventually becoming one of the most commercially successful tenors of all time.

Oh for goodness sake! No other singer, dead of alive, young or old, has the MAGNIFICENT OPERATIC VOICE of the MIGHTY LUCIANO PAVAROTTI!

Luciano Pavarotti wasn't a beginner, he ruled the operatic world during his lifetime & his GLORIOUS OPERATIC VOICE continues to enthrall people all over the world.

The BEST opera singer of EVERY century.

Surely the great pavarotti is better than caruso!

3 Kirsten Flagstad

Norwegian...enough! - torsja29

The greatest of Wagnerian sopranos, generally recognized as without peer. The voice had great beauty and power as befits the need of the idiom. - acchione

4 Enrico Caruso Enrico Caruso Enrico Caruso was an Italian operatic tenor. He sang to great acclaim at the major opera houses of Europe and the Americas, appearing in a wide variety of roles from the Italian and French repertoires that ranged from the lyric to the dramatic.

Likely the greatest male voice of all time, although only primitive recordings exist from his era. Definitely the ONLY person for whom a credible argument can be made that he is greater than Pavarotti.

While the quality of sound limits the ability to judge beauty, this is the best produced and most powerful of voices. Listen, for example to Nina. No one else can sing like this. Remember that when he auditioned for Mascagni, the later said "Who sent you to me - God? " - acchione

5 Andrea Bocelli Andrea Bocelli Andrea Bocelli is an Italian classical crossover tenor, recording artist, and singer-songwriter. Born with poor eyesight, he became permanently blind at the age of 12 following a football accident.

I watched the music of silence. fell in love with his voice right away.­čĺ»God took away his eyes, and in return blessed him the most angelic voice ever

Best all can I say

I dunno what to say

6 Maria Callas Maria Callas Maria Callas, Commendatore OMRI, was a Greek-American soprano, and one of the most renowned and influential opera singers of the 20th century. Many critics praised her bel canto technique, wide-ranging voice and dramatic interpretations.

She was (is) wonderful.

La Divina should be at the top of every list.

7 Ezio Pinza

Brilliant voice and I think basses and baritones are underestimated in such rankings.

The most distinctive of voices, Pinza was the ultimate cantabile basso. His Don Giovanni is legendary. A great natural talent who never study singing and was at home in all opera (and Broadway - S. Pacific). He made his debut at the Met singing Boris Godunov in Italian (the other principles sang in French, the chorus in Russian) - acchione

8 Joan Sutherland

A simply extraordinary voice.

She should be at the top of this list. She was voted #1 in TheTopTens' "10 greatest sopranos" and #2 in TheTopTens' "10 best female opera singer". She is the Queen of Opera.

Dame Joan should be at the top of the list.

Joan Sutherland should be at the top of the list by far!

9 Beniamino Gigli

The most beautiful voice. While lacking the weight and power of the Caruso voice, his singing was sensuous and seductive. Before his voice changed, he was acclaimed for his singing of Norma! - acchione

10 Plácido Domingo

Worlds best...

Again, a great voice and most versatile of all.

The Contenders

11 Rosa Ponselle

Like Caruso, her recordings do not allow us to hear the full quality of her voice - but there is no question of her musicianship or quality and power of voice. Clearly the greatest of Italian sopranos against whom all others are measured - acchione

12 Feodor Chaliapin

What few recordings exist demonstrate the greatest of singing actors.
The "greatest recordings of the century disc" shows a phenomenal portrayal of Boris. - acchione

13 Ebe Stignani

The great Mezzo Soprano's greatness can be heard in the Norma duet and the recording of the Verdi Requiem with Gigli and Pinza. - acchione

14 Fritz Wunderlich
15 Leonard Warren

Our great baritone is without peer among many many great baritones.
When he auditioned at the Met. One of the judges wanted to disqualify him because he thought he was mouthing a recoding of a great singer - he could not believe his ears. He died on stage at 48 years old signing Forza del Destino. - acchione

16 Leontyne Price

She has the best voice, ever!

17 Dame Janet Baker

The UK system produces a large number of great musicians.
After the incomparable horn player, Denis Brain, she is the best.
Listen especially to the Elgar "Sea Songs" and Taube's song in the Schoenberg "Gurre Lieder" - acchione

18 Jussi Bjoerling

While perhaps Domingo belongs here, Bjoerling is a greater musician with a better voice. There exists a wonderful recording of him singing as a boy. The clincher is his recording of Lensky's aria from Onegin. - acchione

number 1

19 Aria Tesolin
20 Mario Lanza Mario Lanza Mario Lanza was an American tenor of Italian ancestry, and an actor and Hollywood film star of the late 1940s and the 1950s. Lanza began studying to be a professional singer at the age of 16.

Got a horribly raw deal from the opera world. Lanza also wanted to be a movie star, but such activity was frowned upon by the powers that be. He did several excellent movies anyway, and was then shunned by the opera establishment despite his great voice and talent.

Was born to be an Opera singer..

The one that affected people. Therefore the greatest

21 Elisabeth Schwarzkopf
22 Montserrat Caballe

Uh hello? Barcelona and Hijo De La Luna

23 Jackie Evancho Jackie Evancho Jacqueline Marie "Jackie" Evancho (born April 9, 2000) is an American classical crossover singer who gained wide recognition at an early age and, since 2009, has issued an EP and seven albums, including a platinum and gold album and three Billboard 200 top 10 debuts. Evancho's 2017 album, Two Hearts, more.

Jackie Evancho is not an opera singer; she is the first to tell you that, and often corrects interviewers who call her one. Jackie has utmost respect for the years of study and practice needed to be an opera singer. She is a Classical Crossover singer, like Sarah Brightman or Josh Groban. Media and headline writers who often have no knowledge of the difference are responsible for any errors in labeling.

24 Birgit Nilsson

Read the details about this list! It says it's been voted on 0 times! So there must be not voted on by some errors on this poll! Nilsson was the voice.

25 Renata Tebaldi
26 Anna Netrebko Anna Netrebko Anna Yuryevna Netrebko is a Russian operatic soprano. She holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenships and resides in Vienna, Austria, and in New York City.

She is the prima donna at the met these days.

27 Jessye Norman
28 Fatma Said Fatma Said
29 Carmen Monarcha

Our contemporary diva. Best actress since Callas and a voice to die for and charisma to spare.

Her voice is gorgous, her acting is emotional (in opera as in her own shows) - and then those big brown eyes! - but just listen to her and you'll vote for her right away...

Nice to see Carmen on this list ahead of say, Netrebko or Garanca. Truth is Carmen has greater charm and communicates really well with an audience.
Also her ability to drop from soprano into mezzo and contralto and
Occasionally deliver a good coloratura performance is commendable and her control between piano and forte is really good. She sings from the heart which is a great quality and acts well like Callas did and she is a good dancer too. Can play classical violin, cello and piano. All in all she is really rather special.

30 Franco Corelli

One of the greatest but he has too much saliva in his mouth when he sings. I once read that a good tenor should have a lot of saliva in his mouth but Franco Corelli had too much.

31 Elena Gruberova
32 Sumi Jo

She is just so amazing she even sang and people started to cry

33 Anna Moffo
34 Robert Merrill
35 Margaret Price
36 Nicolai Gedda
37 Carlo Bergonzi
38 Mario del Monaco

Perhaps the finest Italian dramatic tenor since Caruso - acting, dedication to the art, gorgeous voice - he had it all.

39 Andrew Johnston

He is a great Opera singer, and I think he should be on this list because he is good, Andrew's voice is fantastic at opera singing, I think it is good that he sings in the choir.

40 Rolando Villazon

Thes best Tenor of our times...

41 Marilyn Horne
42 Beverly Sills
43 Renee Fleming

Beautiful pieces, beautiful voice! You sing such beautiful arias, and Schuberts ave Maria! Your Casta Diva sounds so beautiful!

44 Natalie Dessay
45 Shirley Jones
46 Lawrence Brownlee
47 Mirella Freni
48 Rise Stevens
49 Luisa Tetrazzini
50 Nellie Melba
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List StatsCreated 3 Feb 2013

1,000 votes
64 listings
6 years, 285 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Andrea Bocelli
2. Maria Callas
3. Joan Sutherland
1. Joan Sutherland
2. Renata Tebaldi
3. Mario Lanza
1. Joan Sutherland
2. Renee Fleming
3. Beverly Sills

View All 7

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