Famous 19th Century Opera Singers

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 1 
Enrico Caruso
(Operatic Tenor of the Early 20th Century & One of the First Musicians to Document His Voice on Recordings)
Enrico Caruso
11
Birthdate: February 25, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: August 2, 1921

Enrico Caruso was an operatic tenor who performed at prominent opera houses in the Americas and Europe. His commercially released recordings made him an international star in the early-1900s. Thanks to his illustrious career that spanned 25 years, Caruso became one of the most popular entertainers of his generation. In 1987, he was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

 2 
Nellie Melba
(Opera Singer)
Nellie Melba
10
Birthdate: May 19, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Richmond
Died: February 23, 1931

Nellie Melba was an Australian singer. One of the most popular singers of the early 20th century, Melba was the first Australian classical musician to achieve international recognition. Also known for her charity work during the First World War, Nellie Melba was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918.

 3 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)
Lily Pons
9
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976
Height: 5'0" (152 cm)
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 4 
Alessandro Moreschi
(Singer, Opera singer)
Alessandro Moreschi
14
Birthdate: November 11, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Monte Compatri
Died: April 21, 1922
 5 
Jenny Lind
(One of the Most Highly Regarded Singers of the 19th Century)
Jenny Lind
21
Birthdate: October 6, 1820
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: November 2, 1887
Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind, also known as the "Swedish Nightingale,” was a prominent 19th-century soprano and performed all over Europe. She also donated generously to various charities, especially to the cause of free schools in Sweden. She also taught at the Royal College of Music in London. 
 6 
Adelina Patti
(Italian Opera Singer Who is Considered One of the Most Popular Sopranos of All Time)
Adelina Patti
15
Birthdate: February 19, 1843
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 27, 1919

Adelina Patti was an Italian opera singer who achieved immense poularity in the USA and Europe. One of the finest singers of her generation, Patti was also among the highest-paid at the peak of her career. Along with her near contemporaries Thérèse Tietjens and Jenny Lind, Adelina Patti is considered one of the most popular sopranos of all time.

 7 
Kirsten Flagstad
(Opera Singer)
Kirsten Flagstad
7
Birthdate: July 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamar, Norway
Died: December 7, 1962
 8 
Lauritz Melchior
(Opera singer)
Lauritz Melchior
5
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 18, 1973
 9 
Richard Bruno Heydrich
(Opera singer)
Richard Bruno Heydrich
8
Birthdate: February 23, 1865
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leuben, Dresden, Germany
Died: August 24, 1938
 10 
Grace Moore
(American Opera Singer and Actress Whose Films Helped to Popularize Opera)
Grace Moore
59
Birthdate: December 5, 1898
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Del Rio, Tennessee, United States
Died: January 26, 1947

American opera singer Grace Moore, also known as the Tennessee Nightingale, initially sang in New York nightclubs and then moved on to Broadway. She is remembered for her Academy Award-nominated role in the romantic musical One Night of Love. She died in a plane crash in Copenhagen after a performance.

 11 
Eva Mylott
(Australian Opera Singer)
Eva Mylott
11
Birthdate: February 27, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tuross Head, New South Wales, Australia
Died: March 20, 1920

Eva Mylott was an Australian opera singer. A protégé of Nellie Melba, Mylott moved to England with the former in 1902 in order to pursue her career as an opera singer outside Australia. In 1917, Eva Mylott married an American businessman named John Hutton Gibson and is best remembered as the paternal grandmother of American actor Mel Gibson.

 12 
Maria Malibran
(Spanish Mezzo-Soprano Who Was the Daughter of Tenor Manuel García)
Maria Malibran
10
Birthdate: March 24, 1808
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 23, 1836

The daughter of actor and soprano Joaquina Sitches and tenor Manuel García, Spanish mezzo-soprano Maria Malibran was 8 when she debuted on stage with her father. She gained immense fame as Rosina in The Barber of Seville. She died after falling from a horse soon after marriage to violinist Charles de Bériot.

 13 
Alma Gluck
(Romanian-American Opera Singer Who Was the First Musician to Sell a Million Record Copies)
Alma Gluck
73
Birthdate: May 11, 1884
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ias,i, Bucharest, Romania
Died: October 27, 1938

Initially a stenographer, Romanian-born American opera singer Reba Fiersohn, better known as Alma Gluck, started her music career after her marriage and soon found success with her performances at the Metropolitan Opera. She scripted history by scoring the first million-selling phonograph record and also co-founded the American Woman's Association.

 14 
Manuel García
(Spanish Baritone Singer and Trainer Who Invented the Laryngoscope)
Manuel García
5
Birthdate: March 17, 1805
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: July 1, 1906

Spanish baritone singer and voice educator Manuel García was the son of legendary opera singer Manuel del Popolo Vicente García. He started his career with his father’s production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. He invented the laryngoscope and penned the classic Complete Treatise on the Art of Singing.

 15 
Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient
(Operatic Soprano)
Wilhelmine Schröder-Devrient
8
Birthdate: December 6, 1804
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: January 26, 1860
 16 
Christina Nilsson
(Swedish Operatic Soprano from the 19th Century)
Christina Nilsson
12
Birthdate: August 20, 1843
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Småland, Sweden
Died: November 20, 1921

A renowned Swedish operatic soprano from the 19th century, Christina Nilsson ruled the world opera scene for 20 years. She was often compared to fellow opera star Adelina Patti and finds a mention in Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. One of her most iconic roles was that of Marguerite in Charles Gounod's Faust.

 17 
Mary Garden
(Scottish-American Operatic Soprano)
Mary Garden
28
Birthdate: February 20, 1874
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: January 3, 1967

Mary Garden was a Scottish-American operatic soprano who achieved popularity in France and America. She was also an exceptional actress who was praised for her nuanced performances. Noted for her beautiful lyric voice, Mary Garden became one of the most popular sopranos at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. She also achieved popularity at the Manhattan Opera House in New York.

 18 
Giuditta Pasta
(Italian Opera Singer)
Giuditta Pasta
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1797
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Saronno, Italy
Died: April 1, 1865

Giuditta Pasta was an Italian opera singer. Such was her popularity that several roles were written specifically for her. Pasta is credited with originating iconic roles, such as Donizetti's Anna Bolena, Bellini's Amina in La sonnambula, and the title role in Norma. Giuditta Pasta also worked as a teacher and among her well-known pupils are Emma Albertazzi and Adelaide Kemble.

 19 
Ernestine Schumann-Heink
(Austrian-American Opera Singer Who Mostly Appeared in Operas of Wagner and Strauss)
Ernestine Schumann-Heink
31
Birthdate: June 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Libeň, Prague, Czechia
Died: November 17, 1936

Austrian-American opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink was one of the major interpreters of the operas of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss from the pre-World War I period. Her best-known role was perhaps that of Erda in Wagner’s Siegfried. She also delivered charitable performances and appeared on radio shows too.

 20 
Emmy Destinn
(Operatic Soprano)
Emmy Destinn
4
Birthdate: February 26, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New Town, Prague, Czechia
Died: January 29, 1930
 21 
Emma Calvé
(Operatic soprano)
Emma Calvé
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Decazeville, France
Died: January 6, 1942
 22 
Leo Slezak
(Tenor)
Leo Slezak
3
Birthdate: August 18, 1873
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Šumperk, Czechia
Died: June 1, 1946
 23 
Francoise Rosay
(Singer)
Francoise Rosay
3
Birthdate: April 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 28, 1974
 24 
Sissieretta Jones
(American Soprano and the Highest-Paid African-American Performer of Her Generation)
Sissieretta Jones
9
Birthdate: January 5, 1868
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Virginia, United States
Died: June 24, 1933

Matilda Sissieretta Jones was an American soprano and the highest-paid African-American performer of her generation. She is credited with founding the Black Patti Troubadours, an acrobatic and musical act comprising 40 comedians, dancers, jugglers, and a chorus of 40 singers. In 2013, Matilda Sissieretta Jones was made an inductee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. 

 25 
Henriette Sontag
(Operatic soprano)
Henriette Sontag
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1806
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Koblenz, Germany
Died: June 17, 1854
 26 
Jean de Reszke
(Tenor singer)
Jean de Reszke
3
Birthdate: January 14, 1850
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Warsaw, Poland
Died: April 3, 1925
 27 
Manuel García
(Spanish Impresario, Opera Singer, Composer, and Teacher)
Manuel García
3
Birthdate: January 21, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sevilla, Spain
Died: June 9, 1832

Manuel del Popolo García was a Spanish impresario, opera singer, composer, and teacher. Apart from composing and performing many operas, García also taught music to several aspiring singers, including his own children Maria Felicia Malibran, Pauline Viardot, and Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García.

 28 
Giulia Grisi
(Italian Opera Singer Who Was an Iconic and Internationally Renowned Soprano)
Giulia Grisi
2
Birthdate: May 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: November 29, 1869

Legendary Italian opera singer Giulia Grisi was the opera world’s prima donna for over 3 decades. She was 17 when she made her debut with Zelmira. She later also soared to fame in Paris and London. She later married opera singer and Italian nobleman and knight Giovanni Matteo Mario.

 29 
Lilli Lehmann
(Operatic Soprano)
Lilli Lehmann
2
Birthdate: November 24, 1848
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wurzburg, Germany
Died: May 17, 1929
 30 
Luigi Lablache
(Italian Opera Singer Who Is Remembered for Playing Leporello in Don Giovanni)
Luigi Lablache
2
Birthdate: December 6, 1794
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: January 23, 1858

Italian opera singer Luigi Lablache is remembered for his performance as Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Admired for his bass voice, he had a successful career in London and Paris, too, playing Geronimo in Il matrimonio segreto. He married fellow singer Teresa Pinotti, and many of his children too were singers.

 31 
Elisabeth Schumann
(German-Born American Opera Singer Who Immortalized the Role of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier)
Elisabeth Schumann
6
Birthdate: June 13, 1888
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Merseburg, Germany
Died: April 23, 1952

German-born American opera singer Elisabeth Schumann who was known for her lieder performances. She performed at iconic venues such as the Hamburg Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, and Covent Garden. She is perhaps best remembered for her role of Sophie in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier. She later taught at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute.

 32 
Lillian Nordica
(One of the Most Prominent Dramatic Sopranos of the Late-19th and Early-20th Centuries)
Lillian Nordica
7
Birthdate: December 12, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Farmington, Maine, United States
Died: May 10, 1914

Lillian Nordica was an American opera singer and one of the most prominent dramatic sopranos of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. Lillian Nordica achieved immense popularity in Europe, performing a wide range of roles in the French, Italian, and German operatic repertoires.

 33 
Marcella Sembrich
(Polish Soprano Known for Her Extensive Range of Two and a Half Octaves)
Marcella Sembrich
1
Birthdate: February 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ukraine
Died: January 11, 1935

Marcella Sembrich was a Polish singer remembered for her charm, precise intonation, vocal fluidity, portamento, and impressive range of two-and-a-half octaves. Sembrich, whose voice was described as flute-like, had an illustrious singing career at London's Royal Opera House and the New York Metropolitan Opera. Off stage, Marcella Sembrich was a philanthropist and dedicated teacher.

 34 
Elizabeth Greenfield
(American Singer Who was Considered the Best-Known Black Concert Artist of Her Time)
Elizabeth Greenfield
9
Birthdate: 1809 AD
Birthplace: Natchez, Mississippi, United States
Died: 1876 AD

Elizabeth Greenfield was an American singer best remembered for her performances of music composed by Gaetano Donizetti, Vincenzo Bellini, and George Frideric Handel. Nicknamed The Black Swan, Elizabeth Greenfield is regarded as the most popular black concert artist of her generation. Among her pupils was Thomas Bowers, who went on to become a famous concert artist.

 35 
Victor Maurel
(Opera singer)
Victor Maurel
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1848
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: October 22, 1923
 36 
Emma Eames
(American Soprano Who Was Largely Associated with the Metropolitan Opera)
Emma Eames
8
Birthdate: August 13, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: June 13, 1952

American soprano Emma Eames was the daughter of an international lawyer and began training in music as a child. After studying music in Boston and Paris, she gained fame with her role in Roméo et Juliette at the Paris Opera and never looked back. She was later chiefly associated with the Metropolitan Opera.

 37 
Maria Forescu
(Opera singer)
Maria Forescu
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Died: November 23, 1943
 38 
Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld
(Opera singer)
Ludwig Schnorr von Carolsfeld
2
Birthdate: July 2, 1836
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: July 21, 1865
 39 
Lujza Blaha
(Hungarian Actress and Singer)
Lujza Blaha
2
Birthdate: September 8, 1850
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rimavská Sobota, Slovakia
Died: January 18, 1926

A significant figure of the golden age of the Hungarian folk play, Lujza Blaha earned the nickname of The Nation’s Nightingale. Born to traveling actors, she stepped into acting at age 15 and later gained fame with plays such as Madame Sans-Gêne. She was also in the news for her sexually liberal outlook.

 40 
Giovanni Matteo Mario
(Italian Nobleman and Opera Singer)
Giovanni Matteo Mario
2
Birthdate: October 17, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cagliari, Italy
Died: December 11, 1883

Italian nobleman Giovanni Matteo Mario was a talented opera singer who had a flourishing career in London and Paris. He was the opera partner of popular soprano Giulia Grisi. Initially an officer in the Piedmontese Guard, he later left the army for his passion, opera. However, he suffered in poverty in his final days.

 41 
Sophia Dussek
(Singer)
Sophia Dussek
2
Birthdate: May 1, 1775
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: 1831 AD
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
 42 
Giovanni Battista Rubini
(Italian Tenor Who Was a Major Figure of the Bel Canto-Era Romantic Operas)
Giovanni Battista Rubini
2
Birthdate: April 7, 1794
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Romano di Lombardia, Italy
Died: March 3, 1854

Italian tenor Giovanni Battista Rubini who was a major figure of the bel canto era romantic style of opera singing. He was only 12 when he worked as a musician at the Riccardi Theatre and later gained immense fame in Europe. Most of his performances were for Vincenzo Bellini’s operas.

 43 
Hermine Finck
(Opera singer)
Hermine Finck
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baden-Baden, Germany
Died: October 31, 1932
 44 
Sibyl Sanderson
(American Operatic Soprano)
Sibyl Sanderson
6
Birthdate: December 7, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: May 16, 1903

Sibyl Sanderson was an American operatic soprano who started her career at the Opéra-Comique in Paris. She soon became a favorite of Jules Massenet and appeared in a number of his operas, including Manon, one of Massenet's most enduring operas. Sibyl Sanderson is credited with launching the career of another famous soprano, Mary Garden. 

 45 
Louise Homer
(American Operatic Contralto)
Louise Homer
6
Birthdate: April 30, 1871
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 6, 1947

Louise Homer was an American operatic contralto best remembered for her performances at opera houses and concert halls between 1895 and 1932. After starting her career as a vaudeville entertainer, Louise Homer went on to become an important member of the famous Metropolitan Opera, where she performed between 1900 and 1929. 

 46 
Ellen Beach Yaw
(American Coloratura Soprano Who was Known for Her Extraordinary Vocal Range)
Ellen Beach Yaw
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: September 9, 1947

Ellen Beach Yaw was an American coloratura soprano. Best remembered for her extraordinary vocal range, Yaw is credited with originating the titular character in Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan's two-act comic opera, The Rose of Persia. Ellen Beach Yaw also achieved immense popularity as a recording artist.

 47 
Marietta Alboni
(Italian Operatic Contralto Best Known for Her Bel Canto Performances)
Marietta Alboni
2
Birthdate: March 6, 1826
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Città di Castello, Italy
Died: June 23, 1894

Italian opera singer Marietta Alboni is remembered for her impeccable bel canto performances. After achieving considerable fame with her role in Rossini’s Le Siège de Corinthe at Milan’s La Scala, she toured Austria, Germany, Spain, Russia, and the US, and eventually retired due to her obesity issues.

 48 
Antonio Tamburini
(Italian Opera Singer Known for His Baritone Voice)
Antonio Tamburini
1
Birthdate: March 28, 1800
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Faenza, Italy
Died: November 8, 1876

Italian operatic baritone Antonio Tamburini was born to a bandmaster father and was trained in music since childhood. He was 18 when he made his debut with La contessa di colle erbose. After gaining fame with his performances in Italy and Britain, he spent the final years of his career in Russia.

 49 
Adelaide Kemble
(Opera singer)
Adelaide Kemble
2
Birthdate: February 13, 1815
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 4, 1879
 50 
Marie Rappold
(Opera singer)
Marie Rappold
1
Birthdate: August 17, 1872
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Barmen, Germany
Died: May 12, 1957