10 Greatest Sopranos of All Time

In your opinion, who do you think are the ten greatest soprano's of all time?

The Top Ten

1 Joan Sutherland

Joan Sutherland, or La Stupenda as she was called, has the most spectacular voice of all time. Even Pavarotti said she was the voice of the Century. If she had Callas' acting abilities, she would be greater than Callas.
Joan Sutherland's assets include:
1. Huge voice.
2. Breathtakingly beautiful voice when in her prime.
3. Arguably THE perfect trill up to high C.
4. Arguably the best scales and runs.
5. Arguably the best staccato.
6. Definitely the best high notes from high A to high E.

Absolutely, the greatest SINGER of all times... Not just soprano... GREATEST SINGER EVER.
She had one of the most beautiful voice I've ever heard. And I've heard them all. Her voice is HUGE, and she can do anything with it. Her trills rival a flute and you can hear two actual notes spinning very fast. ALL aspects of the art of the coloratura are handled with utter ease and textbook. She has zero rivals as a dramatic coloratura. Her legendary "wall of sound" just surrounds you even in the Hollywood Bowl. She can sing Wagner and Bellini. And when it comes to those notes from C6-E6(high C-high E natural), no one has such brilliance, beauty and gigantic in volume. We will never see the likes of La Stupenda again!
I love Callas but next to Sutherland, even Callas has to take second place.
You MUST hear Sutherland LIVE to hear the real thing. Her voice is that spectacular and HUGE.

Joan Sutherland IS the Absolute First Lady of opera... Prima Donna Assoluta. Honestly, she has the most brilliant voice and breath taking technique of all the great divas in this list.
Even though she may not be the best actress, her phenomenal voice more than make up for it.
She is the Empress of Opera, in my opinion. Thank you.

I have been listening to her magnificent voice for over forty years and all I can say it is uncanny. There are those that would liken her to some of the greatest singers in history but no one has ever been able to reach the stratospheric heights that Dame Joan achieved. She was able to achieve vocal acrobatics with her voice (The Bell Song) that has never been achieved by another singer and her bel canto mastering sets her apart from anyone else that has attempted it except Marilyn Horne. The Golden age of Opera was the period that Sutherland, Horne and Pavarotti sang as an ensemble, never to be matched or duplicated. We were so lucky to hear and see them before Joan and Luciano left us. Thank you for the most incredible music we will ever hear.

2 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, ...read more.

Ok, here is my opinion.
I am not an expert in music or singing, I only know what I feel.
I listen to many female artists from opera to pop.
Jackie's voice has something extra, something that sets it apart from others, regardless of the training and technical perfection reached.
In my opinion, Jackie Evancho has the greatest soprano voice today.

Wikipedia lists three child prodigies of voice: Beverly Sills, Julie Andrews, and Jackie Evancho. Jackie is the youngest person in history to go Platinum. Her career has just begun.

Being a great soprano does not equate being a great opera singer. That's a highly technical specialty. It's a vocal range, and this young lady covers it completely, with a timbre and vibrato (that varies with the piece she's singing) that is more pleasing to my ears than any other singer that I've ever experienced.

Not to take away from any of the other great sopranos past and present, but in my humble opinion, from listening and experiencing those great sopranos and to so many exquisite singers over the past several decades, Jackie Evancho is the one. The drop-to-your-knees in awe and admiration you just know is the best you have ever witnessed. We are so very fortunate to be alive at this time in history as this incredible voice.

3 Montserrat Caballé

Best high pianos ever...

the voice

Caballe's voice is angelic. Her rendition of O Mio Babino Caro is absolutely flawless and is the best ever recorded - you would have to be a stone not to be moved by it! Other great arias include Ave Maria (Verdi) & Hijo de la Luna. There is not enough words to describe how exquisite her voice really is.


4 Birgit Nilsson

Her Wagner was in a class by itself.

Her voice is a laser beam, capable of surpass a big orchestra.

Her voice alone could light up the entire universe.

Second best Wagnerian soprano after Kirsten Flagstad, a remarkable voice.

5 Beverly Sills

Truly a great soprano & as a person. She had a way of singing to your soul in a genuine, sincere way. She portrayed her characters honestly, making them come to life. The ease with which she sang difficult passages was amazing. She could bring even the uneducated opera goer to love opera.

Most unqualified critics never heard Sills early in her career. What a pity! If you readers can, please find the earliest recording of her Baby Doe. Her matchles recording of Julius Caesar also puts her up there in the top five. What a pity she was shunned by the Met for far too long.


I am surprised that many do not recognize Beverly for the magnificent talent she possessed. The things this woman could do with a single scale. Truly a pioneer.

Beverly Sills is my all-time favourite singer. Whether listening to her recordings, singing live or sharing a moment in passing conversation, I admire her singing, her musicality, her characterizations and above all, her humanity. she remains my all-time number one.

6 Leontyne Price

She is REALLY the one and only. No one can compete with her.

No one was more exciting. No one was more artistic. No one had a more beautiful sound. No one was close.

She could sing anything!

Her voice has a extra layer which makes it just that much richer than all others.

7 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 possessed an unrivaled ability to breath life into the music. Her extraordinary sense of timing, the nuanced treatment of each phrase, and her impassioned delivery find no equal. When you lay aside the traditional criticism and think about what matters most in music, Callas stands alone.

The reason I think maria callas is one of the greatest-if not the greatest-singers is that every time I listen to one her resital I feel so many emotions that I makes me think she cast a spell on me. I know that there might be a lot of good artists but its something about her-about her voice- that makes her special. With her voice she is able to make you understand or even feel some things and I strogly believe that that's the real purpose of every kind of art. To understand and To feel!

I was sitting at Starbucks having a afternoon coffee, listening to Maria Callas, namely La Sonnambula and La Mamma Morta... At one point, I closed my eyes, and nothing else mattered... Her emotional languish along with her superb vocals, transcended me into another place and time... I became overcome with emotion. No one can ever come close to Callas and her artistic renditions of the great classics... BRAVA!

I just don't see how it could be anyone else, Sutherland and Sills were excellent, but no one could touch Callas. She is in a league of her own, a superior league. She is the greatest singer of all time period, with and immense love for her art

8 Kirsten Flagstad

Probaly the best norwegian soprano of all time

Greatest soprano voice of the 20th century. The greatest soprano in Wagner which is the toughest test for any singer.

Greatest soprano of the 20th century without a doubt. The supreme singer of Wagner which is the toughest test for any singer.

The greatest voice of the 20th century.

9 Renata Tebaldi

Incomparable. No other soprano matches her shear vocal beauty.

The most ravishingly beautiful voice ever. Perfect legato, perfect blending of registers and full bodied. Strong lower register, rich middle and dramatic, full top. Also possessed the beautiful pianissimo high notes in her early career. Although the high C became strained in her later career, she reworked her voice into a more dramatic one, with a very strong, mezzo sounding lower register, and Wagnerian weight. If only she had sang more Wagner and continued her career in the 70s as a mezzo (the Met offered her the chance but she declined). Still, the single most beautiful voice I have ever heard.

Tebaldi's voice is the most beautiful sound ever the world has ever known.

My fave. What a rich tone!

10 Jessye Norman

A singer with a wonderful and powerful voice. Its flexibility is impressive in terms of singing.

Strong and delicate voice

In my opinion she is number 1 simply the most wonderful voice in my humble opinion.

Blessed beyond belief...Voice floats like a butterfly

The Contenders

11 Renee Fleming

Renee Fleming is like Mario Lanza and Placido Domingo. She can sing anything and her voice gives me shivers up my spine. Fantastic control and so much feeling in her singing and what a range. I am Australian and feel that Joan Sutherland is not even close to Renee. She should be right at the top of this list

Renee Fleming is in my opinion the best ever. Her control is fantastic and you can feel what she is singing. I have had 4 years of classical training myself and have never heard a soprano like her. Forget Joan Sutherland, you can't even tell what language she is singing in.

Renee fleming beats everyone on this list. You'd have to be deaf not to agree. It's insane she isn't on the top list. By the way, Beverly Sills is recorded singing higher than Joan Sutherland. Sills goes all the way up to F5.

I agree, Fleming is like audible silk. Such control, such a beautiful sound. She sings with ease.

12 Sumi Jo

The greatest voice of all

Her renditions of the bel canto repertoire are really amazing. Her coloratura is very precised and clear. Her rendition of offenbach and lakme are really superb putting her own emotions and colors to every phrase she sings. She is probably one of the best sopranos today.

Her voice is rare and unique among other opera singers who I know.

She has a very clear and delicate voice yet with lots of volume. Her singing technique is superb and engages listeners with the song's emotions.

13 Angela Gheorghiu

Mrs Gheorghiu and Mrs. Netrebko should have been way higher on this list!

A voice of great power and clarity, I love her singing Visse,

Considered best contemporary voice in the world

Beautiful, delicate, feminine... Great voice and presence!

14 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.

Anna Netrebko is up there with the great sopranos. She's got this roch fullness in her voice, the warmth of a mezzo and the register of a coloratura.

Absolutely magnificent

We can still enjoy her

She is # 1!

15 Amira Willighagen Amira Willighagen Amira Willighagen is a Dutch soprano singer who won the sixth season of Holland's Got Talent in 2013 at the age of 9.

At 9 years of age she could match the best Now at 15 she is on a steady pathway to being the very best - ever - and untouchable.

Greatness can be judged by a vocalist's ability to move an audience and no one does it to a higher degree than Amira.

She is by far the most gifted soprano in the world today, for me she is the NR 1 and no one else comes even close.

Amira at almost 15 is already becomming one of the best sopranos in the world. with a voice of an angel. Jackie Evancho does not even get close

16 Victoria de Los Angeles

Deserves to be here. One of the greats, and will never be forgotten. - swanning

One of the most even lyric soprano voices. A perfect Marguerite.

WHAT? I can't believe this! Ms De Los Angeles should be at least in 4 place. Who is voting here? I guess young people, who vote famous names and not really good singers...

She had the best voice. Jesus...17th?

17 Kiri Te Kanawa

Kiri is in the top 3. - swanning

I think in terms of vibrato and terms of training she had the best voice. And she also had superb acting skills, but she lacked variety in repertoire and her voice got lighter as she got elder and more frail. But in her hayday amazing.

Listen to her Butterfly!

The most beautiful voice in recording history.

18 Luisa Tetrazinni
19 Pumeza Matshikiza
20 Mirella Freni
21 Lucia Popp

If the main thing is beauty of sound and purity of voice, this is THE goddess of singing... She possessed the most beautiful voice ever.

How ridiculous. This lady has to be in the top 3. The other two might be Sutherland and Janowitz. Kiri and Ileana are up there also. Popp is special though - and a real beauty.

Clearest and cleanest voice of them all!

She's the best in my opinion..

22 Angel Blue
23 Elizabeth Shwarzkopf

The best lyric soprano. The way she give different lives to every word that she sings.

Seriously dude, Jackie Evancho #1, the great Maria Callas #3 and Shwarzkopf 19? I'm dumbfounded...

Number One, hands down!

Her countess almaviva is so mesmerizing and so is her marschallin

1 Comment
24 Edita Gruberova

One of the best voices

The voice. Sheer beauty.

25 June Anderson
26 Sarah Brightman Sarah Brightman Sarah Brightman is an English classical crossover soprano, actress, musician, songwriter, conductor, and dancer.

I've heard them all. Sarah leaves them all for dead. She has sold more records than any soprano ever. Sarah has supreme presence and wonderful acting abilities.


Sorry Jackie you've got more to learn...Sarah would eat you alive

Most loveliest voice I have ever heard - this must be heaven...

27 Kathleen Battle

Perfect voice, never a strain, always beautiful, filled with feeling. Should be #1

Delicate, subtle, flexible, just brilliant

Amazing Voice Quality should be top 3

One of the most beautiful voice qualities of all time.

28 Diana Damrau

She is like the total package...great singer, great actor, beautiful and has brilliant personality

Beautiful high notes and great energy onstage! Diana will certainly leave a legacy as far as coloratura is concerned.

29 Scarlett Quigley
30 Lily Pons

Absolutely beautiful voice and beautiful person.

Her voice is better than the clarinet...

31 Cecilia Bartoli

Absolutley DIVA of our times!

A most exciting voice with good technique wide range and the very characteristic articulation of notes.
Trevor Ling

32 Anna Moffo

Of the many sopranos I have heard over my 71 years, Anna Moffo had the clearest, most accurate, warmest, most 'open' voice. Her interpretations of the characters she played, were among the most musical and realistic of anyone else. She did receive some censure and criticism for her forays into the pop world, which in her day was anathema to an operatic career. Personally, I think it served to demonstrate her abilities beyond that of opera.

Charming. Magical voice.

Anna Moffo has been underrated for a long time. I totally agree with the comment "She is the best Violleta, Lucia, Butterfly, Rosina as well as Micaela. No one does better than her". Even more, in my opinion, Anna Moffo was the number 1 soprano in all the most popular Italian and French operas!

She is the best Violleta, Lucia, Butterfly, Rosina as well as Micaela. No one does better than her!

33 Virginia Zeani

Amazing Violetta! What a beautiful soprano

Romanian born soprano who had an international career and who holds the record for the most performances of Violetta from Verdi's La Traviata (over 648). She made her La Scala debut as Cleopatra in Handel's Giulio Cesare and later went on to perform Blanche from Poulnec's Dialogues of the Carmelites at the same theatre (she was the personal selection of the composer). She started her career with the works of Bellini, Donizetti, and others of the bel canto repetoire and concluded with the heavier works of Puccini, Verdi, etc., having lost none of the vocal bloom and beauty that were her trademarks.

Virginia Zeani was La prima DONNA ASSOLUTA of the 50s 60s and 70s... Callas and Tebaldi had the promotion, Virginia had THE VOICE!

I heard Virginia Zeani in the early 1960s in the years when I also heard Callas, Sutherland, Regine Crespin and Birgit Nilsson. As she made few commercial recordings she was less famous internationally but she was unquestionably their equal. She had a glorious voice, of a dark timbre, tinged with sadness. Her performances were thrilling, for she sang with far more passionate commitment than other singers. She was unequalled as Violetta and her vibrant yet soft top As in "Addio del passato" were the most beautiful sounds I ever heard.

34 Yma Sumac Yma Sumac

The greatest range of all.

Easy the best!

Much too low on this list. Should be ranked 1st. The 20th century greatest singer.

35 Sissel Kyrkjebø

Sissel is my favorite from the moment I first heard her she sang to my heart and as I listened I discovered that she is not a Diva I have no use for any Diva. As Lyrical Sopranos She is among the best Today

Sissel! aside from phenomenal her voice. she is a natural beauty and has a warm personality that makes her one of the best ever I come back for more

I have never heard anyone like her, she sings out of her heart and soul and excels at any type of music she chooses. Wish we could see more of her in the United States

Just has to be one of the best- in voice and presentation

36 Barbara Bonney

I like her ave maria it's the best cover of ave maria

The best American for sure.

37 Bidu Sayão

Very Best!

The best

38 Agnetha Faltskog Agnetha Faltskog

Fantastic voice

She is a true soprano. Listen to her when she is the lead singer in ABBA songs such as "SOS", "The Name of the Game", "Hasta Manana", " The Winner Takes It All", "One of Us" and more! Such a sweet voice!

She is a natural soprano! She should be in the Top 10! She doesn't need autotune and stays true to herself! - ivylee

39 Amelita Galli-Curci

With regard to sheer technique, rare beauty of timbre, and particularly the art of natural singing, Galli-Curci is the greatest singer of her time and perhaps of all time.

40 Charlotte Jaconelli

Very promising & young but professional voice.

41 Yvonne Kenny
42 Julie Andrews Julie Andrews Dame Julia "Julie" Elizabeth Andrews is an English film and stage actress, singer, author, theatre director and dancer.

Great actress with a good voice, but she really does not belong to the list of "greatest sopranos of all time". I love her songs and her performance, but she's in a different league.

Julie Andrews has an amazing voice. I would class her as number one! I love her songs from The Sound Of Music and My Fair Lady and Victor Victoria. Imagine having a beautiful Soprano range from D3 to high F above top C, F6! It is incredible how she sang the Polonaise from Mignon! I have a similar voice to hers, F4 to F6, but I am only nine years old I have a long way to go... she is number 1 Soprano of all time♡♥ good quality.

43 Natalie Dessay

Far the best in the world!

Number one in the list!

Owww come on the mad scene from Lucia Di Lammermoor or the Queen of the night aria from the Magic Flute... Breath taking

44 Edda Moser

She has even more powerful voice than any of the previous listed sopranos!

I think her "Der Hölle rache" reigns supreme. Am I the only one?

Has the greatest interpretations of mozart's music...i think she's better than those known sopranos...

45 Pretty Yende

Best chance ever to reach the top ten

Breathtakingly beautiful voice. Charm and beauty! And she's Proudly South African - Daleen Kruger

Absolutely talented.

46 Cristina Deutekom

She had a unique voice! That is why she was so special! Very huge voice! Topknots and very beautiful deep low A

Excellent coloratura soprano, known for her Queen of the night in Mozart's The Magic flute

47 Kathryn Grayson

Deservably in this list. She partnered celeb Mario Lanza in his films. A real Hollywood star. - swanning

She had an absolutely charming voice, and her performance was mesmerizing.

48 Patricia Janeckova

The best along w. Katherine Jenkins


49 Teresa Stich-Randall

One of the greatest - why are opera singers called 'item'?

One of the purest voices out there, always spot on, and with ravishing interpretations. Listen to her versions of "An die Musik" Haendel's "In Praise of music" and Bach's "Jauchzet Gott"

50 Gundula Janowitz

Not saying she is the best, but she deserves to be on the list. When people think of sopranoes, she is one of the first who comes to mind. You will have all heard her. She is the one who sings in the film The Shawshank Redemption - with Edith Mathis.

Got to be in any top three along with Popp and Sutherland.

One of the top 3 along with Popp and Sutherland.

Listen to her "Porgi amor" and you'll be upvoting her.

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List Stats

2,000 votes
77 listings
10 years, 102 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Joan Sutherland
2. Birgit Nilsson
3. Beverly Sills
1. Joan Sutherland
2. Birgit Nilsson
3. Beverly Sills
1. Barbara Bonney
2. Yvonne Kenny
3. Renata Tebaldi

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