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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
American opera singer Rosa Ponselle, who became known as a Metropolitan Opera star, is best known for her performance in Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma. Starting her career singing in cafes and theaters, she later also performed at London’s Covent Garden. She also served the Baltimore Civic Opera Company as its artistic director.
Jeanette MacDonald was an American actress and singer best remembered for her performances in the musical films of the 1930s. Renowned for her singing skills, MacDonald appeared in opera and concerts. One of the 20th century's most influential sopranos, Jeanette MacDonald is credited with inspiring a generation of singers and introducing opera to film-going audiences.
Marjorie Finlay was an American television personality and opera singer. A coloratura soprano, she performed opera, concert, and supper club singing. Marjorie Finlay also had her own TV show, which had viewership in the USA and Europe.
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.
Natalie Dessay is a French actress, singer, and former operatic soprano. In 1992, Dessay portrayed Olympia in The Tales of Hoffmann for which she gained wide recognition. Her performance also gained her access to leading opera houses around the world. Over the years Natalie Dessay has won several prestigious awards, such as the Laurence Olivier Award.
Retired American opera singer Mary Costa is best known for voicing Princess Aurora in the Disney animated musical fantasy Sleeping Beauty. Named a Disney Legend later, she has also appeared in iconic operas such as Verdi's in La Traviata. Post-retirement, she has turned into a motivational speaker and fights against child abuse, too.
Aida Garifullina is a Russian lyric soprano. She gained mainstream popularity after winning the 2013 Operalia competition and has since been featured in many productions staged at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg, and the Wiener Staatsoper. She also performed at the 2018 FIFA World Cup opening gala concert. She is currently signed to Decca Records.
Risë Stevens was an American actress and singer. She is best remembered for playing the titular role in Carmen. She is also remembered for her association with the Metropolitan Opera National Company, where she worked as director from 1963 to 1968. Stevens' life and career inspired two biographies, namely Subway to the Met and Risë Stevens: A Life in Music.
American-Canadian opera singer Sondra Radvanovsky is known as one of the greatest interpreters of Giuseppe Verdi’s works. She was 21 when she bagged her debut opera role and later soared to fame with performances as Leonora in Il trovatore and as Amelia in Un ballo in Maschera.
Laura Bretan is a Romanian-American soprano who came into prominence in 2016 when she won the sixth season of the popular TV show, Romania's Got Talent. In the same year, Laura Bretan also appeared in America's Got Talent where she finished sixth.
Grace Bumbry is an American opera singer who was part of a pioneering generation of African-American classical and opera singers. Bumbry's rich and dynamic voice helped establish her as one of the most important and popular mezzo-sopranos of her generation. Grace Bumbry is also known for her dramatic intensity and fiery temperament on stage.
The daughter of soprano Montserrat Caballé and tenor Bernabé Martí, Montserrat Martí, or Montsita, is a renowned Spanish soprano in her own right. Known for playing roles such as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, she has also been part of many charitable concerts. She has also sung with her mother.
Joyce DiDonato is an American singer and lyric-coloratura mezzo-soprano. She is best known for her famous interpretations of concert works and operas in the 19th-century romantic era. Joyce DiDonato has performed with the world's leading orchestras and opera companies. She has also won many awards, such as the Grammy Award under the Best Classical Vocal Solo category.
Spanish lyric soprano Victoria de los Ángeles was a sensation in the 1950s and 1960s. While she initially trained in the guitar, she later switched to voice and the piano. Following her opera debut with Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, she later performed at venues such as La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera.
Marina Prior is an Australian actress and opera singer. She achieved popularity in the early-1990s when she portrayed Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Best known for her contribution to musical theatre in Australia, Marina Prior is the recipient of several prestigious awards, such as the Green Room Awards and the Australian Entertainment Mo Awards.