Opera Singers

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Opera Singers sing the text known as ‘libretto’ in an Opera which is a musical performance. Opera is a performance which usually combines singing and music and narrates a story through a musical performance. Opera singers have to ideally sing the whole story and sometimes they even act in the performance. Opera singers require a great amount of training and only a few rise to fame in this field. In the genre of opera, the singers are categorized based on the range in which they can sing. The voices of female opera singers are categorized as contralto or soprano and male voices are categorized as bass or tenor. Opera has a rich traditional history which has been kept alive by the opera singers for eons. Opera singers have also modernized the art and have diversified the singing style with more versatile tones and voices. They now have to be acoustically sound and some of them are good music composers. They are also appreciated more if they are multilingual and can be vocally adaptable. With their beautiful voices and mesmerizing musical stories, Opera singers take the audience in a different world and offer great entertainment. To discover more about famous Opera singers enter this space and read their biographies and life histories and come across interesting facts and trivia.
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 1 
Luciano Pavarotti
(Italian Operatic Tenor Regarded as the 'King of the High Cs')
Luciano Pavarotti
12
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
35
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
(Spanish Opera Singer, Conductor and Part of 'The Three Tenors' Operatic Singing Group)
Placido Domingo
30
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.

 4 
Montserrat Caballé
(Spanish Operatic Soprano Known for Her Pure and Powerful Vocals With Exquisite Pianissimo)
Montserrat Caballé
18
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.

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 5 
Kiri Te Kanawa
(Opera singer)
Kiri Te Kanawa
13
Birthdate: March 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gisborne, New Zealand
 6 
José Carreras
(Spanish Operatic Tenor Known for His Performances in the Operas of 'Donizetti', 'Verdi' and 'Puccini')
José Carreras
15
Birthdate: December 5, 1946
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: 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 
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.

 8 
Renée Fleming
(American Opera Singer and Broadway Star)
Renée Fleming
31
Birthdate: February 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Indiana, Pennsylvania, United States

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.

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 9 
Anna Netrebko
(Russian Operatic Singer)
Anna Netrebko
35
Birthdate: September 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Krasnodar, Russia

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.

 10 
Cecilia Bartoli
(Italian Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano Opera Singer and Recitalist)
Cecilia Bartoli
17
Birthdate: June 4, 1966
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rome, Italy

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.

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 11 
Beverly Sills
(American Operatic Soprano Noted for Performing in Coloratura Soprano Roles in Live Opera and Recordings)
Beverly Sills
12
Birthdate: May 25, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: July 2, 2007

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.

 12 
Bryn Terfel
(Singer, Opera singer, Actor)
Bryn Terfel
11
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 
Joan Sutherland
(Australian Opera Singer)
Joan Sutherland
13
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.

 14 
Elīna Garanča
15
Birthdate: September 16, 1976
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Riga, Latvia
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 15 
Renata Tebaldi
(Italian Lirico-Spinto Soprano Who was One of the 20th Century's Greatest Opera Singers)
Renata Tebaldi
8
Birthdate: February 1, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pesaro, Italy
Died: December 19, 2004

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. 

 16 
Marilyn Horne
(Distinguished American Mezzo-Soprano Opera Singer)
Marilyn Horne
5
Birthdate: January 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bradford, Pennsylvania, United States

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.

 17 
Tarja Turunen
(Finnish Heavy Metal Singer-Songwriter & Co-Founder of the Symphonic Metal Band 'Nightwish')
Tarja Turunen
33
Birthdate: August 17, 1977
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kitee, Finland

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.

 18 
Birgit Nilsson
(Swedish Singer Best Known for Her Performances in the Operas of ‘Richard Wagner’ and ‘Richard Strauss’)
Birgit Nilsson
8
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.

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 19 
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.

 20 
Jenny Lind
(One of the Most Highly Regarded Singers of the 19th Century)
Jenny Lind
19
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. 
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 21 
Juan Diego Flórez
7
Birthdate: January 13, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
 22 
Lily Pons
(American-French operatic soprano)
Lily Pons
9
Birthdate: April 12, 1898
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Draguignan, France
Died: February 13, 1976
 23 
Maria Callas
(One of the Most Renowned and Influential Opera Singers of the 20th Century)
Maria Callas
45
Birthdate: December 2, 1923
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, 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.
 24 
Jussi Björling
(Swedish Operatic Tenor Who was One of the Leading Opera Singers of the 20th Century)
Jussi Björling
8
Birthdate: February 5, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Borlänge, Sweden
Died: September 9, 1960

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.

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 25 
Kathryn Grayson
(American Coloratura Soprano and Actress)
Kathryn Grayson
53
Birthdate: February 9, 1922
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Died: February 17, 2010

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.

 26 
Leontyne Price
(The First African-American Opera Singer to Achieve International Fame)
Leontyne Price
10
Birthdate: February 10, 1927
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Laurel, Mississippi, United States

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.

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 27 
Thurl Ravenscroft
(American Actor and Bass Singer)
Thurl Ravenscroft
15
Birthdate: February 6, 1914
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Norfolk
Died: May 22, 2005

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.  

 28 
Franco Corelli
(Italian Tenor Who was Known for His Powerhouse Voice, Clear Timbre and Electrifying Top Notes)
Franco Corelli
5
Birthdate: April 8, 1921
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ancona, Italy
Died: October 29, 2003

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.

 29 
Paul Sorvino
(Actor and Singer Known for His Role as ‘Paulie Cicero’ in the Film ‘Goodfellas’)
Paul Sorvino
17
Birthdate: April 13, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died: July 25, 2022
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.
 30 
Jessye Norman
(Legendary American Opera Singer and 5-Time Grammy Winner)
Jessye Norman
12
Birthdate: September 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Augusta, Georgia, United States
Died: September 30, 2019

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.

 31 
Deanna Durbin
(Actress & Singer)
Deanna Durbin
17
Birthdate: December 4, 1921
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Died: April 17, 2013
 32 
Alessandro Moreschi
(Singer, Opera singer)
Alessandro Moreschi
13
Birthdate: November 11, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Monte Compatri
Died: April 21, 1922
 33 
Charlotte Church
18
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.  

 34 
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
5
Birthdate: May 28, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 18, 2012
 35 
Adelina Patti
(Italian Opera Singer Who is Considered One of the Most Popular Sopranos of All Time)
Adelina Patti
13
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.

 36 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
(Opera singer)
Dmitri Hvorostovsky
19
Birthdate: October 16, 1962
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Krasnoyarsk, Russia
Died: November 22, 2017
 37 
Kathleen Battle
(Grammy-Winning American Opera Singer Who Performed Mostly at the Metropolitan Opera)
Kathleen Battle
27
Birthdate: August 13, 1948
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Ohio, United States

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.

 38 
Jonas Kaufmann
(German Operatic Tenor Best Known for the Versatility of His Repertoire)
Jonas Kaufmann
8
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.

 39 
Darius Campbell
(Singer, Opera singer, Songwriter)
Darius Campbell
13
Birthdate: August 19, 1980
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow
 40 
Mirella Freni
(Italian Operatic Soprano)
Mirella Freni
10
Birthdate: February 27, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: February 9, 2020

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.

 41 
Beniamino Gigli
(Italian Opera Singer Who is Regarded as One of the Greatest Tenors of His Generation)
Beniamino Gigli
5
Birthdate: March 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Recanati, Italy
Died: November 30, 1957

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.

 42 
Nicolai Gedda
(Swedish Opera Singer Who Was a Renowned Lyric Tenor)
Nicolai Gedda
3
Birthdate: July 11, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: January 8, 2017

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.

 43 
Anna Moffo
(One of the Most Prominent and Popular Lyric-Coloratura Sopranos of Her Generation)
Anna Moffo
14
Birthdate: June 27, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wayne, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 9, 2006

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. 

 44 
Sarah Brightman
(Soprano Singer)
Sarah Brightman
23
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.
 45 
Robert Merrill
(Legendary American Operatic Baritone Who Was a Star of the Metropolitan Opera)
Robert Merrill
8
Birthdate: June 4, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: October 23, 2004

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.

 46 
Lee Hoi-chuen
(Chinese Opera Singer and Film Actor)
Lee Hoi-chuen
12
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.

 47 
Farinelli
(Italian Castrato Singer Who was One of the Greatest Singers in the History of Opera)
Farinelli
8
Birthdate: January 24, 1705
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Andria, Italy
Died: September 16, 1782
Farinelli was an Italian castrato singer who was active during 18th century. A celebrated performer, Farinelli is widely regarded as one of the greatest singers in operatic history. His life and career inspired a 1994 biographical drama film titled Farinelli. He has
also been the subject of other artworks such as plays and TV series.
 48 
Fritz Wunderlich
(Lyric tenor, famed for his singing of the Mozart repertory and various lieder)
Fritz Wunderlich
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kusel, Germany
Died: September 17, 1966
 49 
Kirsten Flagstad
(Opera Singer)
Kirsten Flagstad
6
Birthdate: July 12, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hamar, Norway
Died: December 7, 1962
 50 
Giuseppe Di Stefano
(Italian Operatic Tenor)
Giuseppe Di Stefano
5
Birthdate: July 24, 1921
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Motta Sant'Anastasia, Italy
Died: March 3, 2008

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.