10 Best Female Classical Singers

Are you wondering who the 10 best female classical singers are? Rare and super-talented females born with a unique talent for classical singing have graced our lives for decades. Though they range in age and origin, these are the best of the best.

  1. Maria Callas. Born on December 2, 1923, in New York as Maria Anna Sofia Cecilia Kalogeropoulou, Maria migrated to her family homeland of Greece where she was accepted to the National Conservatory in Athens, Greece.  This classical singer established her career in Italy and endured despite myopia, a weight battle and numerous scandals. Her final tour was in 1973 in Amsterdam. Maria passed on September 16,1977.
  2. Dawn Upshaw.  Born in Nashville, Tennessee, on July 17,1960, Dawn found international fame in 1993 with Symphony No. 3. Works (and operas) have been created specifically for Dawn's operatic classical voice. The Ojai Music Festival has had the privilege of having Dawn perform three times, including in 2009.
  3. Katherine Jenkins. This female classical singer was born June 29,1980, in Wales. Her operatic debut was in 2003 at the Sydney Opera House. Her U.S. debut was in New York City, August of 2004 supporting Hayley Westenra.
  4. Hayley Dee Westenra.  Born April 10, 1987, in New Zealand, this classical singer's international debut CD "Pure" was in circulation in her sixteenth year though her professional career began at age twelve. "Pure" went platinum twelve times in New Zealand, making it the best selling album ever. Hayley has sung duets with a number of great artists, as well as performed in films and on television.
  5. Marina Laslo. Russian soprano and violinist Marina was educated in St. Petersburg. In 1998 she began her professional career in Russia with operas. This female singer's first solo album was released in 2002. Her multilingual skills have allowed her to focus on pursuing an international career.
  6. Elisabeth Schumann. Born June 13, 1888, in Merseburg, Germany, Elisabeth made her stage debut in Hamburg in 1909. This female classical singer remained at the Hamburg Opera for seven years to a decade, leaving periodically to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 1938 she emigrated to the United States (New York) due to the threat of war. Elisabeth gave European recitals after the war, though New York is where she died on April 23, 1952.
  7. Leontyne Price. Born February 10,1927, as Mary Violet Leontyne Price in Laurel, Mississippi, in 1952 this classical singer joined an opera called "Four Saints in Three Acts." Afterward she rose to international fame for her role in "Porgy and Bess." Her professional operatic debut was on September 20, 1957, in San Francisco as Madame Lidoine in "Dialogues Des Carmelites." Her last new role was in 1977. In 1981, Leontyne sang as Aida with Luciano Pavarotti. Her career continued through 1983.
  8. Cecilia Bartoli. Born June 4, 1966, in Rome, her vocal versatility has allowed her to play both soprano and mezzo roles. Her earliest vocal lessons were given to her by her parents, who were professional singers. At age eight she performed in "Tosca" as a shepherd boy. In her 20s she made her professional opera debut in the Arena di Verona. In 2010 Cecilia received the coveted Leonie Sonning Music Prize.
  9. Elina Garanca. Born Septmber 16, 1976, in Riga, Elina is another female classical singer with the vocal versatility to play both soprano and mezzo roles. While still a student being given only a week-and-a-half notice, Elina performed in "Anna Bolena" as Giovanna Seymour. Playing Carmen fits this woman with an angel's voice. Her awards for 2010 included Vocalist of the Year and Singer of the Year.
  10. Hollie Steel. Born July 1, 1998, in Lancashire, England, this little angel danced her way into the hearts of millions in 2009 in "Britain's Got Talent." On March 29, 2010, Hollie released an album simply labeled "Hollie." Surely there will be more to come from this superb soprano vocalist for decades to come.
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