Top 10 Best Opera Singers

It's self-evident that there are listings of all opera stars, both male and female, across all vocal ranges. These stars have been heard either in person or on recordings.

The criteria for these listings are voice quality, vocal production, which includes placement and breath control, and artistry. Artistry encompasses musicianship and an understanding of the idiom.
The Top Ten
1 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.

Jonathan Antoine is an incredible tenor who will captivate you from the first note. His vocal range is unbelievable. His performances are impeccable and fascinating, leaving you begging for just one more song! Mr. Antoine not only has an amazing voice, but he is also one of the nicest and kindest people to grace a stage. His relationship with his fans (The Fantoines) is second to none. He is very down-to-earth, yet his voice soars!

From the first note uttered, I knew I was going to love his music. Jonathan is an all-around lovely human being, talented, clever, and kind.

2 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.

Other opera singers come and go, but no one has or had the glorious voice of Luciano Pavarotti. His voice is truly a magnificent gift from God.

Luciano Pavarotti's voice is better than any other voice, period. He is and was the absolute master of opera.

This is the man with the most magnificent classical and operatic voice the world has ever known.

3 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.
4 Renée Fleming

Beautiful pieces, beautiful voice! You sing such beautiful arias and Schubert's Ave Maria! Your Casta Diva sounds so beautiful!

5 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.

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 latter said, "Who sent you to me - God?"

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

6 Jessye Norman
7 Joan Sutherland Joan Sutherland (November 7, 1926 - October 10, 2010) was an Australian operatic dramatic coloratura soprano, known for her contribution to the renaissance of the bel canto repertoire from the late 1950s to the 1980s. She was the first Australian to win a Grammy Award in 1962.

It's crazy that Aria Tensolin is in 4th place. Gigli, Caruso, and Flagstad are not better than Joan Sutherland. Pavarotti didn't call her the greatest voice he's ever met and the "Voice of the Century" for nothing.

She's only known by opera fans as La Stupenda. No other singer has a title like that, which almost every opera buff knows belongs to Joan Sutherland.

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 Singers". She is the Queen of Opera.

8 Plácido Domingo

Again, a great voice and the most versatile of all.

9 Dmitri Hvorostovsky
10 Bryn Terfel
The Contenders
11 Cecilia Bartoli
12 Jose Carreras Josep Maria Carreras i Coll, better known as José Carreras, is a Spanish tenor from Catalonia who is particularly known for his performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini.
13 Juan Diego Flórez
14 Kirsten Flagstad

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

15 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.

He's a classical crossover singer. It's not the same thing as opera. Others like Jackie Evancho, Sarah Brightman, and such are classical crossover artists as well. They use great vocals over a wide variety of sounds. He's a legend of the blind community.

16 Ezio Pinza

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

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

17 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!

18 Robert Merrill
19 Rosa Ponselle

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

20 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.

21 Jussi Björling

While perhaps Domingo belongs here, Björling 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.

22 Leontyne Price
23 Aria Tesolin
24 Marilyn Horne
25 Lise Davidsen
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