Luciano Pavarotti was an operatic tenor who went on to become one of the most loved and acclaimed tenors of all time. Nicknamed the King of the High Cs, Pavarotti is regarded as one of the best tenors of the 20th century. Also a well-known humanitarian, Luciano Pavarotti hosted annual charity concerts to raise money for various UN causes.
Widely regarded as an opera singer with the most beautiful voice, Andrea Bocelli is an Italian record producer and singer-songwriter. He serves as an inspiration to many as he went on to become one of the most popular Italian singers of all time, despite losing his vision at age 12. He has sold more than 90 million records worldwide.
Spanish opera singer and conductor Plácido Domingo has performed in a variety of languages, such as English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German. The winner of nine Grammys and five Latin Grammys, he later performed as part of The Three Tenors, with legends Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras, releasing bestselling albums.
Spanish opera singer and a legend of classical music, Montserrat Caballé became an international sensation after recording the duet Barcelona, the official anthem for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, with Freddie Mercury. She is also remembered for his iconic portrayal of the title role of Lucrezia Borgia.
José Carreras is a Spanish operatic tenor. He is best known for his performances in the operas of Donizetti, Verdi, and Puccini. Making his debut on the operatic stage at the age of 11, he went on to build an illustrious career in the following decades. A leukemia survivor, he founded the Josep Carreras Leukaemia Foundation.
Four-time Grammy-winning American soprano Renée Fleming was born to music teacher parents and started her singing career as a jazz vocalist. She later stormed the opera scene with performances in productions such as A Streetcar Named Desire. A Broadway star, she later stepped into rock and film music.
Anna Netrebko is a Russian operatic singer who has performed at popular venues, such as The Royal Opera and Metropolitan Opera. She achieved international fame in 2002, when she played Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Festival. One of the most decorated operatic singers of her generation, Anna Netrebko was included in the Time 100 list in 2007.
Cecilia Bartoli is an Italian opera singer and recitalist. A coloratura mezzo-soprano, Bartoli is renowned for her interpretations of the works of popular composers like Mozart, Bellini, Handel, and Vivaldi. Also known for her versatility, Cecilia Bartoli can sing both mezzo and soprano roles. She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including Grammy Awards.
Distinguished American operatic soprano Beverly Sills is best-remembered for her coloratura soprano roles in live opera and recordings. Two of her memorable roles include the title role in Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and Elisabetta in Donizetti's Roberto Devereux. Following her retirement, Sills served as general manager of New York City Opera, chairwoman of Lincoln Center and chairwoman of Metropolitan Opera.
Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel initially gained fame with his roles in operas such as The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. The Guildhall alumnus later won a Grammy and 4 Classic Brit Awards. He was also knighted and awarded a CBE honor for his extraordinary achievements in music.
Australian soprano Joan Sutherland was exposed to music at an early age, being the daughter of a singer. Trained in voice and the piano by her mother, she made her debut as Dido in Dido and Aeneas. The first Australian to earn a Grammy, she was also awarded the DBE.
Renata Tebaldi was an Italian lirico-spinto soprano. Regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest opera singers, Tebaldi is best remembered for her performances at popular opera houses like San Carlo, La Scala, and the Metropolitan Opera. Renata Tebaldi was the recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Grammy Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Distinguished American mezzo-soprano opera-singer Marilyn Horne was best-known for her bel canto and opera seria roles. Memorable performances of Horne includes in Alban Berg's Wozzeck, Vincenzo Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda and Gioachino Rossini’s Le siège de Corinthe. Horne received several awards and honours during her career including four Grammy Awards, a National Medal of Arts and the Kennedy Center Honors.
Tarja Turunen is a Finnish singer-songwriter and an exponent of heavy metal. She is credited with co-founding the popular symphonic metal band Nightwish, where she peformed as the lead vocalist. The band's symphonic metal style, which was referred to as opera metal, inspired several other bands and performers.
Birgit Nilsson was a Swedish dramatic soprano remembered for her association with composers like Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner. One of the most celebrated Swedish singers of all time, Nilsson won many awards, such as the 1966 Sonning Award. In 1982, she won the Swedish-American of the Year Award. In 2012, she was inducted into the Gramophone's Hall of Fame.
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.
Swedish operatic tenor Jussi Björling was closely associated with New York’s Metropolitan Opera throughout his career. He was particularly known for his expertise in Italian and French repertory. After starting to sing at age 6, he made his opera debut with Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Stockholm.
Kathryn Grayson was an American coloratura soprano and actress. She trained as an opera singer from a young age and went on to play leading roles in popular musical films like Thousands Cheer, Show Boat, and Kiss Me Kate. Later in her career, Kathryn Grayson performed in theatre and operas.
Multiple Grammy-winning legendary opera singer and musical diva Leontyne Price became the first singer of African-American origin who achieved international fame in opera. She soared to fame with her appearance in the TV production of Tosca and later performed at iconic venues, such as London’s Royal Opera House.
American actor and bass-singer Thurl Ravenscroft is best-remembered for providing deep bass-voice for breakfast-cereal icon Tony the Tiger for Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes breakfast-cereal for over five-decades and for creating and making popular the catchphrase "They're gr-r-reat!". Other notable works of Ravenscroft includes singing the Christmas song You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch and doing voice-over work and singing for Disney.
Franco Corelli was an Italian tenor best remembered for his powerhouse voice, clear timbre, electrifying top notes, remarkable performances, and passionate singing. Nicknamed the prince of tenors, Franco Corelli had a long and successful association with the Metropolitan Opera where he performed between 1961 and 1975.
American opera singer and recitalist Jessye Norman was born into a family of musicians and made her opera debut with Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser in Berlin. A 5-time Grammy winner, she performed at iconic venues such as the Paris Opera and London’s Royal Opera, and also served as an ambassador to the UN.
Charlotte Church is a Welsh actress, singer-songwriter, political activist, and television presenter. She achieved popularity after hosting her own chat show for Channel 4, The Charlotte Church Show. As a recording artist, Church has won many awards, including a Hollywood Reporters Young Star Award and Classical BRIT Award. She has also published an autobiography named Voice of an Angel.
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.
American opera singer Kathleen Battle is said to be one of the greatest coloratura sopranos of her era. Initially a teacher, she got a breakthrough when conductor Thomas Schippers noticed her. A 5-time Grammy Award winner, she became a star of the Metropolitan Opera and later also won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement.
German opera tenor Jonas Kaufmann is best known for his versatility. Born to music lover parents, he grew up listening to his father’s collection of classical music. Dropping out of a math course in university, he opted for music instead. He is best known for his performance in Don Carlos.
Mirella Freni was an Italian operatic soprano who appeared at famous international opera houses over the course of her career, which spanned 50 years. Mirella Freni achieved international fame at the popular Glyndebourne Festival, where she performed as Adina in L'elisir d'amore and as Zerlina in Don Giovanni.
Beniamino Gigli was an Italian opera singer who is counted among the best tenors of his generation. He achieved international prominence in the 1920s after the demise of Enrico Caruso; Gigli became a much sought-after singer after Caruso's death and people even referred to him as Caruso Secondo.
Swedish opera singer Nicolai Gedda was one of the most influential lyric tenors of the world back in his time. His language skills helped him perform in languages as varied as English, French, German, and Italian. One of his most iconic roles was that of Anatol in Vanessa.
Anna Moffo was an American actress, television personality, and opera singer. One of the most prominent and popular lyric-coloratura sopranos of her generation, Moffo possessed a radiant and warm voice of considerable range. Apart from achieving popularity in the USA, Anna Moffo also became famous in countries like Germany and Italy.
National Medal of Arts-winning American opera singer Robert Merrill began his career singing on radio shows and family functions. He made his opera debut with a production of Verdi's Aida and soon became known as a star of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. His later years saw him performing at sports events, too.
Better known as Bruce Lee’s father, Cantonese opera performer Lee Hoi-chuen married half-Chinese and half-German Grace Ho after moving to Hong Kong. Bruce Lee was born to them while they were touring U.S. for an opera. His death, just days after the birth of his grandson Brandon Lee, shocked many.
Giuseppe Di Stefano was an Italian operatic tenor who was active from the mid 1940s to the early 1990s. Best remembered for his unique timbre, excellent diction, and passionate singing, Di Stefano was considered a successor of Beniamino Gigli. Over the course of his illustrious career, Giuseppe Di Stefano performed at popular opera houses, including the Royal Opera House.
Malena Ernman is a Swedish opera singer who represented her country at the 54th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which was held in Moscow, Russia. Apart from operas and operettas, she also performs jazz, cabaret, and chansons. Also an environmental activist, Malena Ernman was adjudged Environmental Hero of the Year by an organization called WWF-Sweden in 2017.
Erland Van Lidth De Jeude was a Dutch-American actor, amateur wrestler, and opera singer. While pursuing his wrestling career, he was given an opportunity to portray the role of the fearsome Terror in the 1979 American comedy-drama film The Wanderers. He then landed a couple of other roles, including his role as Dynamo in the 1987 film The Running Man.