Famous 20th Century Opera Singers

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Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Opera Singers

 1 
Luciano Pavarotti
(Operatic tenor)

Luciano Pavarotti
10
Birthdate: October 12, 1935
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: September 6, 2007

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.

 2 
Andrea Bocelli
(Italian Operatic Tenor Noted for His Unique Blend of Opera & Pop Music)

Andrea Bocelli
30
Birthdate: September 22, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lajatico, Italy

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.

 3 
Placido Domingo
(Opera singer, Conductor)

Placido Domingo
23
Birthdate: January 21, 1941
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain

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.

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 4 
Maria Callas
(Most Influential opera singer of the 20th century)

Maria Callas
49
Birthdate: December 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: September 16, 1977
Greek soprano Maria Callas, also known as “La Divina,” is considered one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was also in the news for her affair with shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, her rivalry with Renata Tebaldi, and her gradually declining vocal ability.

 5 
Montserrat Caballé
(Opera singer)

Montserrat Caballé
17
Birthdate: April 12, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: October 6, 2018

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.

 6 
José Carreras
(Opera Singer)

José Carreras
12
Birthdate: December 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sants, Barcelona, Spain

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.  

 7 
Kiri Te Kanawa
(Opera singer)

Kiri Te Kanawa
12
Birthdate: March 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gisborne, New Zealand
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 8 
Renée Fleming
(Opera singer)

Renée Fleming
26
Birthdate: February 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States

 9 
Anna Netrebko
(Opera singer)

Anna Netrebko
30
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Krasnodar, Russia

 10 
Joan Sutherland
(Opera Singer)

Joan Sutherland
12
Birthdate: November 7, 1926
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia
Died: October 10, 2010

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.

 11 
Beverly Sills
(Operatic soprano)

Beverly Sills
9
Birthdate: May 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 2, 2007

 12 
Bryn Terfel
(Singer, Opera singer, Actor)

Bryn Terfel
9
Birthdate: November 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pant Glas

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.

 13 

Cecilia Bartoli
13
Birthdate: June 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

 14 

Renata Tebaldi
7
Birthdate: February 1, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pesaro, Italy
Died: December 19, 2004

 15 
Marilyn Horne
(Opera Singer)

Marilyn Horne
5
Birthdate: January 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States

 16 

Elīna Garanča
14
Birthdate: September 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia

 17 

Birgit Nilsson
7
Birthdate: May 17, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Västra Karup, Sweden
Died: December 25, 2005

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.

 18 

Juan Diego Flórez
6
Birthdate: January 13, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lima, Peru

 19 
Enrico Caruso
(Operatic tenor)

Enrico Caruso
10
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.

 20 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)

Lily Pons
7
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976

 21 

Jussi Björling
6
Birthdate: February 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Borlänge, Sweden
Died: September 9, 1960

 22 

Kathryn Grayson
51
Birthdate: February 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA
Died: February 17, 2010

 23 

Paul Sorvino
13
Birthdate: April 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Paul Sorvino, father of actors Mira and Michael Sorvino, is best known as Paulie Cicero from the movie Goodfellas and Phil Cerreta from the series Law & Order. A skilled sculptor, too, he specializes in bronze. He owns a brand of pasta sauces and is a co-owner of Janson-Beckett Cosmeceuticals.

 24 
Leontyne Price
(American soprano)

Leontyne Price
7
Birthdate: February 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Laurel, Mississippi, United States

 25 

Charlotte Church
15
Birthdate: February 21, 1986
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Llandaff, Cardiff, Wales

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.  

 26 
Deanna Durbin
(Actress & Singer)

Deanna Durbin
15
Birthdate: December 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died: April 17, 2013

 27 
Jessye Norman
(Former opera singer and recitalist)

Jessye Norman
9
Birthdate: September 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States
Died: September 30, 2019

 28 
Adelina Patti
(Opera Singer)

Adelina Patti
11
Birthdate: February 10, 1843
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Died: September 27, 1919

 29 
Lee Hoi-chuen
(Opera Singer, Actor)

Lee Hoi-chuen
11
Birthdate: February 4, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shunde District, China
Died: February 7, 1965

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.

 30 
Tarja Turunen
(Soprano with a three and a half octave range)

Tarja Turunen
31
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kitee, Finland

 31 
Sarah Brightman
(Soprano Singer)

Sarah Brightman
20
Birthdate: August 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
Classical crossover soprano and actor Sarah Brightman is best known for her international hit Time to Say Goodbye, sung with Andrea Bocelli. She has also performed in various West End and Broadway musicals, such as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. She was previously married to Andrew Lloyd Webber.

 32 

Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 18, 2012

 33 
Franco Corelli
(Tenor Singer)

Franco Corelli
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ancona, Italy
Died: October 29, 2003

 34 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
(Opera singer)

Dmitri Hvorostovsky
15
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Died: November 22, 2017

 35 

Kathleen Battle
27
Birthdate: August 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Ohio, United States

 36 
Mirella Freni
(Operatic soprano)

Mirella Freni
9
Birthdate: February 27, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: February 9, 2020

 37 
Robert Merrill
(Opera singer)

Robert Merrill
5
Birthdate: June 4, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: October 23, 2004

 38 
Thurl Ravenscroft
(Singer, Dub actor, Opera singer, Actor)

Thurl Ravenscroft
12
Birthdate: February 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Norfolk
Died: May 22, 2005

 39 
Darius Campbell
(Singer, Opera singer, Songwriter)

Darius Campbell
11
Birthdate: August 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow

 40 
Nicolai Gedda
(Opera Singer)

Nicolai Gedda
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: January 8, 2017

 41 
Anna Moffo
(Opera Singer)

Anna Moffo
13
Birthdate: June 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 9, 2006

 42 
Malena Ernman
(Opera Singer)

Malena Ernman
14
Birthdate: November 4, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Uppsala, Sweden

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.

 43 
Jonas Kaufmann
(Operatic tenor)

Jonas Kaufmann
7
Birthdate: July 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

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.

 44 
Kirsten Flagstad
(Opera Singer)

Kirsten Flagstad
6
Birthdate: July 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamar, Norway
Died: December 7, 1962

 45 
Ezio Pinza
(Opera singer)

Ezio Pinza
6
Birthdate: May 18, 1892
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: May 9, 1957

 46 
Beniamino Gigli
(Opera singer)

Beniamino Gigli
4
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: November 30, 1957

 47 
Aled Jones
(Singer, Radio personality, Opera singer)

Aled Jones
15
Birthdate: December 29, 1970
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bangor

 48 

Audra McDonald
52
Birthdate: July 3, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Audra McDonald is a singer and actress primarily known for her work on the Broadway stage. She has appeared in multiple musicals, operas, and dramas and is the recipient of six Tony Awards. She is a classically trained soprano and has performed with the Los Angeles Opera. She has also acted in many TV shows and films. 

 49 
Giuseppe Di Stefano
(Operatic tenor)

Giuseppe Di Stefano
5
Birthdate: July 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Motta Sant'Anastasia, Italy
Died: March 3, 2008

Kate Miller-Heidke
16
Birthdate: November 16, 1981
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gladstone Central, Australia

Award-winning Australian singer Kate Miller‐Heidke specializes in both contemporary pop and classical music. Apart from releasing multi-platinum hits such as Last Day on Earth, she has also composed the opera Rabbits and performed at various international music festivals. Her album O Vertigo! became the fastest crowdfunded project on Pledge.