The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Who are the 12 greatest opera singers on the stage today? | June 18, 2016

By Jacob Stockinger

Who do you think are the 12 greatest opera stars and singers performing today?

You can see how your judgment compares with that of the panel of experts who did the same for Limelight, an Australian arts magazine.


Here is a link:

See how you score.

And what you think of their choices.

Use the COMMENTS section to let us know.

The Ear wants to hear.



  1. Inese Galante’s first album, appropriately called “Debut”, went platinum and sold more than 200,000 copies in the Netherlands alone.

    Her performance of Vladimir Vavilov’s “Ave Maria” (often mistakenly attributed to Giulio Caccini), from this album in 1995 started spreading worldwide interest in the piece. In my opinion, Vavilov’s version exceeds even the great version by Schubert.

    NOTE: Vladimir Vavilov was a 20th century Russian composer who used the names of obscure musicians from the past, like Giulio Caccini, to hide from the KGB. This alone should tell you a lot about the state vs. art. He composed his “Ave Maria” around 1970 which explains why there are no early recording of it and it could not have been done by Caccini.

    For opera fans, there are many free clips of Galante performing on YouTube.

    Inese Galante has set up the Inese Galante Foundation in Latvia. “One of the goals of [the] new foundation will be to support young, talented artists in order to help them improve their skills in Latvia. Inese Galante told that the foundation will help them find sponsors who are able to pay for their studies. Also several competitions and masterclasses with foreign lecturers will be available for young students.”


    Comment by fflambeau — June 18, 2016 @ 2:58 am

  2. Hvorostovsky came to international prominence in 1989 when he won the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, beating local favorite Bryn Terfel in the final round.

    Bryn Terfel is also very, very good.

    Sadly, Hvorostovsky came down with brain cancer recently. I do not know if he is still performing.

    Comment by fflambeau — June 18, 2016 @ 2:38 am

  3. I cannot give you 12. Here are 3 that really good:

    1) Anna Netrebko. Marvelous in perhaps the greatest film version of an opera I’ve seen, La bohème, It’s free on YouTube. Beautiful, beautiful voice, and a good actress too. Probably considered the number one female soprano in the world today.

    2) Inese (Inessa I’ve seen it spelled as too) Galante. See attached YouTube of her rendition of Ave Maria. Glorious voice. A wonderful Latvian opera singer (soprano) who has contributed much of her talents and fortune to those studying opera. Noteworthy as a tremendous voice and person too.

    3) Dmitri Aleksandrovich Hvorostovsky. Russian baritone with a gorgeous voice and huge stage presence.

    Comment by fflambeau — June 18, 2016 @ 2:31 am

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