September 29, 2022

The definitive listing of soprano singers from all through history – from operatic divas to experimental art song interpreters. Cecilia Bartoli

Cecilia Bartoli is the brilliant adventurer of modern sopranos: a voice to die for, but coupled with absurd creative ambition and remarkable humour. She can double as a mezzo soprano too, but it’s her soprano work that turns heads. “She’s so very obsessed with her art,” says Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall. “She loves to perform studies into amazing singers of the past, as well as not noted song and composers.”

Faustina Bordoni

A legend from the days of Handel, Bordoni’s legacy is imprinted on opera history thanks to her fervent following, the depth of which made her a proto-superstar and gave us the diva stereotype. Obviously there aren’t any recordings of her, so please revel in this photograph of her with a peculiar guitar instead:

When the exceptional Freddie Mercury desired to seize the essence of operatic drama in a new music, there was simplest one call on his list: Montserrat Caballé. And although lots of those who recognize her will do so only from this one music, her profession on the operatic level is the envy of many. Her bel canto paintings within the operas of Verdi, Bellini and Donizetti is considered legendary.

Maria Callas

Absolutely iconic – there’s no way Callas could not be on this listing. “Her performing is what does it for me,” says Classic FM’s weekday morning presenter John Suchet. “She created characters you can believe in. I may even forgive the imperfections within the voice due to the fact her performing become so completely plausible. And her decrease register was top notch.”

Diana Damrau

This is surely one of the maximum iconic opera performances of new years and it’s right down to the feel of terrifying drama that Diana Damrau manages to conjure. It’s no longer a one-off, both: as she grows into the bel canto repertoire she maintains to head from strength to power, she’s positive to cement herself as one of the all-time greats.

Joyce DiDonato

A very well cutting-edge soprano: outspoken, but in no way out-sung. Joyce is an audience favourite with the credentials to again it up, from middle operatic repertoire to revelling within the golden age of musicals. In one memorable episode in 2007, she broke her leg on level and controlled to complete the show – and then completed the relaxation of the run acting from a wheelchair.

Renée Fleming

So Renée Fleming can basically sing whatever. Her voice is considered to be so incredibly correct and flexible that its ideal to a massive kind of repertoire, whether it’s Alban Berg or Giuseppe Verdi. “What an terrific voice,” says Anne-Marie Minhall, “and an excellent performer whether in operatic roles or in recital. I’ve interviewed her numerous times and he or she’s in order that devoted to her track.”

Mirella Freni

“Definitely one of the finest sopranos of the remaining century,” says Catherine Bott, “Freni had an inborn present for growing a super, smooth vocal line, and a natural skills for inhabiting every role, from the harmless Butterfly to the brave Tosca. I was once fortunate sufficient to spend an entire day along with her: not like many an opera diva, she didn’t have a single photograph of herself, or any of her recordings, on display in her residence. ‘When I’m at domestic, I’m particularly a grandmother,’ she stated. True tale. A superb artist and a fantastic girl.”

Christa Ludwig

If you’re wondering what genuine happiness in this point in time, it’s a half-hour video of Christa Ludwig making a song Brahms observed by means of Leonard Bernstein.

Anna Netrebko

With someone like Valery Gergiev as your mentor, you’re probably to do well. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko turned into located via the conductor, however her achievement for the reason that then has all been based totally on her quality as an opera performer. Russian repertoire capabilities closely in her fulfillment, however she may be very plenty an international celeb.

Birgit Nilsson

“Surely the greatest Wagner soprano of the twentieth century,” says David Mellor, “as even a quick concentrate to the Solti Ring, while she became in her top, will attest. She became additionally true at stuff other than Wagner along with Puccini’s icy princess Turandot, and Minnie, the saloon keeper who had never been kissed (as though). She was also first rate a laugh, who cherished puncturing the pomposity of interviewers. ‘What do you want,’ gushed one, ‘to be as notable an Isolde as you’re?’ Nilsson replied ‘Comfortable shoes.'”

Jessye Norman

In a profession that commenced within the past due ‘60s, few have come to personify the modern soprano in addition to Jessye Norman. She’s equally glad in complete costume belting out Wagner arias as she is in a refined lieder recital.

Elisabeth Schwarzkopf

Though she did sing in operas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf’s forte changed into absolutely her recital paintings. Fluent and musically encyclopaedic in Lieder, in her heyday she possessed a vocal clarity that few have matched. Controversially, she became also a member of the Nazi birthday celebration – becoming a member of changed into one of the situations of her settlement on the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Joan Sutherland

Throughout the 50s, all the manner to the 80s, there were best a handful of genuine family names in the opera international, and Joan Sutherland changed into considered one of them. “The finest recording session of my lifestyles turned into running together with her on Handel’s Athalia,” says Classic FM’s Aled Jones. “I’d heard all of these tales about her love of crocheting – and he or she did not disappoint. She’d be crocheting away, and then actually seconds before her cues, she’d quietly placed the hooks down and step forward, this towering discern, to supply the maximum flawlessly managed, effective overall performance with a voice that shook the church. She knew exactly what she turned into doing, and never did a retake. It didn’t get higher than this.”

Kiri Te Kanawa

Dame Kiri’s heat tone and characterisation has made her one of the maximum famous and garlanded sopranos in history. “I met her on the Royal College of Music while she acquired an honorary doctorate,” says Classic FM’s overnight presenter, Sam Pittis. “She became certainly enticing and I assume her sturdiness is top notch. She instructed me she thought it turned into harder for younger singers to interrupt thru to the top ranks nowadays.”

Aled Jones recalls rehearsing with Dame Kiri for an outside overall performance in Scarborough. “We were making a song All I Ask of You from The Phantom of the Opera,” he says. “Just as we hit the chorus, a little head poked out at me. Dame Kiri became maintaining her tiny dog warm inside her coat!”

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