10 Best Female Opera Singers

Classical music is lovely and for those who love it, the 10 best female opera singers may be among their favorites. These opera singers belong to a class of their own with their voice, power, and soulful singing.

  1. Dame Joan Sutherland. Dame Sutherland was an Australian Soprano known for her part in the renaissance of bel canto repertoire between the nineteen fifties and the eighties. She made her debut in 1952 as First Lady in "Die Zauberflote". 1959 on wards she started singling for more important roles, including Lucia ("Lucia di Lammermoor"), Alcina ("Alcina"), Marguerite de Valois ("Les Huguenots"), and Marie ("Daughter of the Regiment"). Her last performance was in 1990 as Marguerite de Valois (Les Huguenots).
  2. Kathleen Battle. Probably one of the most famous black sopranos, Kathleen Battle has been acclaimed both for her voice and her artistry. She has won Grammy five times and has performed with most famous orchestras including New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Vienna Philharmonic, and Berlin Philharmonic. Her most famous roles include Susanna ("Le nozze di Figaro"), Pamina ("Die Zauberflöte"), and Zerbinetta ("Ariadne auf Naxos").
  3. Frederica Von Stade. The Mezzo Soprano, termed as “one of America’s finest artists and singers” by New York Times, has won two Grand Prix du Disc awards as well as six nominations for Grammy. She has portrayed the title role in "The Merry Widow", "Melisande in Pelléas et Mélisande", and "Marguerite in La damnation de Faust".
  4. Elisabeth Söderström. The Swedish Soprano made her professional debut in 1947, as Mozart’s Bastienne. She remained committed to Swedish Royal Opera. Her most noted appearances include the role of Emilia Marty in "The Makropulos Case" and" Kátya Kabanová in Kátya Kabanová". Both productions were from "Leoš Janá?ek. Söderström" was famous for her merry and sunny disposition.
  5. Maria Callas. A woman who took her acting and emotional portrayal as important as the singing, the Greek Soprano was famous for her range of voices. Her voice started failing when she was quite young. Despite that she remains one of the best female opera singers, her most legendary role being that of Bellini’s Norma.
  6. Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The New Zealand opera singer is a Maori and has performed the role of Xenia in Boris Godunov and that of the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro. She has also been Tosca in Tosca, Violetta in La Traviata, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.
  7. Leontyne Price. Is another famous African American soprano who is as noted for her voice as for making her way against the black prejudices of her time. One of her greatest roles is that of Bess in the revival of "Porgy and Bess". In 1960 she became the first black opera singer to sing in La Scala. Her 1961 performance as Leonora in Verdi's Il Trovatore at the Metropolitan Opera elicited a 42-minute ovation.
  8. Rosa Ponselle. Dubbed “The Caruso in Petticoats”, she was the singer who opened the Metropolitan Opera to American trained singers. She had no vocal training at the time and yet debuted as “Leonora” in "La Forza del Destino" by Verdi. She sang with Metropolitan Opera for 19 seasons. At the height of her career in 1937, she retired from operatic stage a decision which shocked the world.
  9. Kirsten Flagstad. Kirsten Flagstad made her debut in 1913 as Nuri in "Tiefland". She was a sensation in 1935 when she sang for the role of Sieglinde at the Metropolitan Opera. She played many more Wagnerian roles at the Metropolitan Opera, including that of Isolde and Brünhilde. Her final performance was as Dido at London’s Mermaid Theater.
  10. Katherine Jenkins. The Welsh opera singer is famous for the largest recording deal in UK classical history which she signed at the age of 23. Her debut classical album, which was released in 2004, topped the UK classical charts.
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