best opera singers in the world today – male persuasion

I’m a capable researcher using electronic technology (not to mention, that I work for a College and have great resources at my disposal). I was searching for someone’s–anyone’s–contemporary classification of the world’s best opera singers. I found a link to a dated USA Today article naming the best stars of the 1990’s. Interesting. But far from  up-to-date.       

I wanted  to skip the venerable legends who are still alive but sing only occasionally, if at all. For the purposes of this list, I wasn’t looking for promising up-and-comers either, though they may be the subject of another post.       

Who are the opera stars of today? Whom are we seeing onstage, watching with awe and admiration?       

Since I didn’t have any contemporary articles to from which to choose candidates, I asked my “Operatoonity” followers on Twitter to help me put together a slate of  favorite current performers.       

Here then are all the male stars identified as top-of-the-heap. Which are your favorites?       

Roberto Alagna


Roberto Alagna, French tenor       

 – Marcelo Álvarez, Argentine lyric tenor       

 – Lawrence Brownlee, American tenor       

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee / photo by Andreas Klingberg


– Joseph Calleja, Maltese tenor      

 – Carlo Colombara, Italian bass  

 – Plácido Domingo, Spanish tenor and conductor       

 – Gerald Finley, Canadian bass-baritone       

 – Juan Diego Flórez, Peruvian tenor       

 – Ferruccio Furlanetto, Italian bass      

 – Vittorio Grigolo, Italian tenor     

 – Thomas Hampson, American baritone       

Dmitri Hvorostovsky


 – Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Russian baritone       

 – Jonas Kaufmann, German spinto tenor       

 – Simon Keenlyside, British baritone       

– Mariusz Kwiecień, Polish baritone  

 – James Morris, American bass-baritone       

 – René Pape, German bass       

Bass-bari Erwin Schrott


 -Ruggero Raimondi, the Italian bass-baritone  

 –  Erwin Schrott, Uruguayan bass-baritone       

 – Stuart Skelton, Australian heldentenor       

 – Bryn Terfel, Welsh, bass-baritone       

 – John Tomlinson, English bass       

 – Ramón Vargas, Mexican tenor       

Tenor Ramon Vargas

Did I include your favorite male performer singing opera today? Write-ins are, of course, welcome in the comments.       

Stop back tomorrow for the women!

And a special thank you, to all those providing input on Twitter.       


Filed under 21st Century Opera, Audience participation, Performers, Poll

10 responses to “best opera singers in the world today – male persuasion

  1. Lizzie

    I am missing Ruggero Raimondi on that list! 😉

  2. I think Luca Pisaroni (Bass-Baritone) deserves a spot on that list as well as Marius Kweicen (Baritone) and certainly Nathan Gunn (Baritone).

  3. Lizzie, is RR still performing? I’m wondering if Sam Ramey shouldn’t be on that list as well.

    Craig, thanks for stopping by. Good additions. I’m hoping to see Marius Kweicen in Don G. next season at the Met!

  4. asperia

    My greatest favourites (of the singers that are working on opera stage currently) are Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Simon Keenlyside, then Juan Diego Flórez and Jonas Kaufmann.
    I like Bryn Terfel very much. I started to like a lot Thomas Hampson I think.
    I like Plácido Domingo, Roberto Alagna, Marcelo Alvarez, Piotr Beczala, Furlanetto and Pape as well.

    P.S. the right name is “Mariusz Kwiecien.”

  5. Raimondi would definitely be a living-legend-who-still-cuts-the-mustard. He was Sparafucile in last year’s “event” Rigoletto in Mantua, and, last I heard, still sings an extraordinary Scarpia.

  6. Paulo

    I’d rather not write what I think of Raimondi, but in my opinion Ferruccio Furlanetto should also be on the list. Tremendous voice, gifted actor and very exciting performer, especially in Verdi (though also a terrific Leporello).

    Thanks for compiling this, Gale. Great post!


  7. Paulo

    Oh, I see he’s up there already, hadn’t seen it before, my bad!


  8. Hi, Paulo. Thanks for stopping by. Furlanetto had made the original list. @manx_maid originally recommended him.

  9. fidelis

    the best opera singer the fantastic
    Dariusz Paradowski – sopranist

  10. Sarah M

    Neil Shicoff! The most wonderful, under-rated tenor of his generation.