Joan Sutherland


I have never heard a greater voice live in the theatre. I saw her 63 times in operas and recitals and was simply over awed at the sheer beauty and power of her high notes and truly amazing - beyond words - breath control. She set the benchmark for all other coloraturas to esteem to. And, what a gracious lady taboot. No attitudes, Joan Sutherland just delivered the best. I knew, once she retired I would never hear a voice that great again. And, I was absolutely right there.

Joan. Sutherland had the most gorgeous dramatic soprano with the most mind boggling technique in all of opera history. There may be greater actresses, but when it comes to voice, no one is even close.

I fell in love with her voice years ago in my salad days. Her voice was such that I sat spellbound in a concert performance in Hartford CT. I have most of her albums that one day I am going to try and get on a CD.

Nobody on this list can compare vocally to Joan Sutherland. Maria Callas was the greatest actress ever in opera, but there's more to opera than just acting. Vocally she was difficult to listen to when she was singing in her upper register, lots of shrill tones and a terrible wobble that I found very distracting. Renee Fleming has a beautiful voice but her strong suit is slow, sustained singing. Her runs are often messy and her trill is not consistent. And in my opinion Leontyne Price had a more beautiful voice. Joan could sing anything, whether it was intricate bel canto or something more dramatic. There will never be another female singer of her caliber.

Joan is the greatest opera singer of all time. What I don't get is why Tarja Turunen is on this list. I listen to Tarja and she sounds like a pop singer. In no way is she an opera singer.
If TheTopTens allow a pop singer to be on an all time greatest female opera singer poll, then, Celine fans, Beyonce fans will vote here. And those pop singers have millions of views.
Opera singers should have their own polls. There is already polls for pop singers.
If TheTopTens is watching, can you remove Tarja Turunen from this opera singer poll? I could not find one legitimate opera aria sung by Tarja Turunen, which make her not an opera singer.

Dame Joan has the most stupendous voice of our time. If you want to hear the greatest vocal instrument ever, she should be in first place. If you want great acting, Callas and Sills may tie. Even with their great acting ability, Callas and Sills cannot overcome the supreme voice of Dame Joan.

No words. Her voice is a true gift to behold.

She has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. she has the most perfect technique I've ever heard she has a gigantic voice and a perfect trill. Her voice comes once in a lifetime will never hear the likes of her voice again.

I think that Sutherland has to top this as she has the best bel-canto technique. She holds the most heavenly voice. And still holds enough power to cut through huge orchestras. Unlike Caballe who is here because of Queen but Caballe still is one of the best in my books. Overall best soprano for me and an amazing singer.

What? Sutherland is not #1? This an invalid list!

Sutherland's vocal purity and breath control literally left listeners gasping for air. I have never heard a better trill - and she recorded hundreds of them - all perfect. In live performance the voice was like velvet floating through the air. She should be number one based on bravura performances, amazing clear abundant high notes, and fabulous trills. And she was a lovely person, too.

La Stupenda indeed, she moved me so much to love opera, in my opinion, she is unsurpassable, such wonderful voice and such great technique!

Sutherland was widely considered the phenomenal singer of her time. To have a gorgeous voice the size of a Wagnarian soprano and still be able to Sind Bel Canto perfectly makes her unique among the sopranos on any list.
She may have the most amazing coloratura technique in opera history. And her trill is truly legendary.

Why is Louwerse and Tarja Turunen here? I don't consider them opera singers. Dame Joan is by far the greatest female opera singer.

No one can surpass her. I have listened to countless others and Sutherland is the only one who gives me absolute joy. Her voice is rich, vibrant and authentic. Many others are wonderful and entertaining but they don't make me smile like Sutherland does.

I have never heard another singer who can do the vocal acrobatics, esp. the triple trill, better than Joan Sutherland. She had perfect pitch & she hit her high notes true. In Italy she was known as La Stupenda.

Yes - I am Australian, but people from other countries have spent fortunes just to follow her around the world and be at her concerts. (I had to pay a mortgage and raise kids, but hey if I had the money! )

A voice like Dame Joan's comes along once in a generation. I liken her talent to that of Pavarotti's, the likes of whom we have not seen another in his lifetime or since his passing. Dame Joan fits into the same category.

She is the best. I have a recording collection of over 10,000 dvd, lp. I must say she does not have anyone who is in her league.

Her voice spelled greatest beauty with every sound! Truly unforgettable! Joan Sutherland performing with Luciano Pavarotti 30 years ago still warms every sense of me!

Definitely, the voice of the millennium. Yup, perfect technique, pure and rich and sings with ease. I had the good fortune of hearing this incredible singer while I was in Sydney, Australia! Sadly missed but her performances on discs and dvds will live on forever! Perfection is the key word!

She's the greatest voice I've ever heard in my life. Why is Turunen doing here in the second place she's got a lousy voice and not an opera singer.

Sorry for the coloratura typo. It's hard to type on an IPhone.

I can't believe Joan S. is not at the very top of this list. Her voice comes once in a lifetime, if not many lifetimes.
If her husband (voice coach) did not persuade her to sing the bel canto roles, she would still be a super Gelden dramatic soprano.
A dramatic soprano with a better coloratura technique than Tetrazzini makes Sutherland my pick as the greatest soprano of them all.

She is technically a virtuoso, but has a dry and scant timber. I did not find a single pleasant colour quality of her voice. In that respect she is really unique.