Who is your favorite opera singer? Did you know that the art of opera dates all the way back to the 16th century. Originating in Italy, operas quickly grew from private performances to public events with ticket sales. Although some people today claim it’s dull, opera is actually thriving now more than ever. Whether you’re new to the genre or have been a fan of it your whole life, here are 8 of the most famous opera singers you need to listen to right now.
1. Luciano Pavarotti (October 12, 1935, to September 6, 2007)
Pavarotti was one of the most famous opera singers of all time. For example, he, as a tenor, performed for a record crowd of 500,000 people in Central Park, New York in June 1993. In September of the same year, he performed for 300,000 people near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Pavarotti started with operatic tenor, but he crossed over into mainstream music. This crossover was the principal reason for his commercial success. Many people will also remember him as a humanitarian because of his work with the Red Cross and the United Nations. Sadly, doctors diagnosed Pavarotti with pancreatic cancer in July 2006. He died the following year on September 6, 2007.
Did you know that Pavarotti wanted to be a football goalkeeper but he chose music? Inspiration from Life of Luciano Pavarotti
2. Andrea Bocelli (Born September 22, 1958)
Bocelli is a tenor opera singer, a songwriter, and a recording artist. He started as a famous opera singer, but he embraced popular music as time progressed. Thus far, he boasts of recording fifteen studio albums that feature both pop and classical music. He also has three greatest hits compilations in addition to nine complete operas. Overall, Bocelli can brag of over 80 million records sold globally.
One of the most inspiring things about him is that being blind never stopped him from achieving his goals. He had poor eyesight from birth, but he became completely blind at the age of twelve after an unfortunate soccer accident. Surprisingly, doctors had advised his mother to abort him because they predicted that he would have a disability. Luckily, his mother refused.
3. Sarah Brightman (Born on August 14, 1960)
Sarah is a famous opera singer who specializes in soprano. She is also an actor, songwriter, and dancer. Interestingly, Sarah is the first music artist to perform twice at Olympic Games, once in 1992 and then again in 2008. Her duet with fellow classical singer, Andrea Bocelli, sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. It is now one of the bestselling music singles in history. Her records sales have topped the 30 million mark making her the best-selling soprano of all time.
4. Peter Schram
Born in Denmark in 1819, Peter Schram was the first famous opera singer to ever be recorded. Obviously the quality of his recording isn’t the best, since the equipment wasn’t great in the 1800’s, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a listen. Even if the Danish lyrics are difficult to understand, any opera singer or fan alive today needs to hear Schram sing. If not for his talent, then at least for the chance to hear a performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni that reflects the time period in which it was composed. It’s as much historically important as it is beautiful.
5. Birgit Nilsson
Even if you’re not an opera fan, there’s a good chance you’ve still heard of the famous opera singer Birgit Nilsson. This is because she was essentially the face of opera throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. Her incredible talent as a soprano lead her career to boom, and she continued singing well into her 70’s, even though most singers retire before then. Nilsson’s voice sounded great right up until her 2005 death in Sweden. It’s definitely sad if you never got to see her perform live, but you can still enjoy her performance-documentary that came out after she passed called “Birgit Nilsson: A League of Her Own.” It’s an episode of Great Performances, which is a show that highlights various people in the performing arts, such as this famous opera singer.
6. Jussi Björling
If you were an opera fan during the 20th century, there’s no way you don’t know Johan “Jussi” Björling. Björling was a Swedish tenor born in 1911 and was praised for his incredible technique and beautiful voice. His success had a huge impact on the opera community since Björling was one of the most famous opera singers of his time despite his lackluster acting skills. If you haven’t heard him sing, look up some of his performances from his American debut in 1937. They will surely give you goosebumps, and you’ll realize what’s so special about him.
7. Susan Boyle
Susan Boyle is a Scottish-born singer whose rise to fame took place on season three of Britain’s Got Talent. Although a controversial subject, many critics today consider Susan Boyle’s music to be operatic pop, which is why she’s included on this list. Whether you consider her a famous opera singer or not, you have to admit that Boyle has done an awful lot for opera culture. There’s no doubt that she brought attention to a genre that doesn’t get much attention from mainstream audiences, and she educated those who were formerly uneducated on the art. Although most people have heard her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream” on the competition show, fewer people have heard her operatic duet with famous opera singer Placido Domingo. It’s a masterpiece that every opera fan deserves in their lives.
8. Megan Marie Hart
Leaping to the United States where the art of opera is a little less popular, Megan Marie Hart of Oregon is what every soprano strives to be. Born in 1983, Hart quickly became a famous opera singer. Critics love her powerful and alluring voice, and audiences can’t seem to get enough of her. She has only gained popularity since her Carnegie Hall debut in 2012, going on to tour the United States and Europe repeatedly. If you aren’t able to catch one of her shows, you at least need to listen to some of her classic performances. Some popular ones include any of her performances with the ensemble of the Landestheater Detmold in Germany.
With this list, you can see how far opera has come since its quiet debut in Italy. Over the course of several centuries, its audience has turned from the wealthy elite to anyone who has passion for it. Whether you enjoy watching operas, listening to them in your car, or you’re more of an occasional fan of “operatic pop,” the community will welcome you with open arms, and these famous opera singers are part of the reason why.
Above 8 opera singers are our top 8 choice and we all know that they sing amazingly. But do you enjoy singing? Did you know that there are 7 good habits to improve your singing skills? Try them!