What’s your favorite soprano role in opera?

In celebration of Soprano Month on “Operatoonity,”  I created a poll to find out your favorite soprano roles. To see. To sing. Makes no difference in this poll.

Here’s a short list–hardly exhaustive–so if you’re not seeing your favorite, feel free to add in the comments.

It is interesting though that some of the world’s favorite operas and/or most performed operas don’t have soprano roles on this list, Don Giovanni being one of them. In fact, the Queen of the Night is one of the few Mozart sopranos role listed here, the other being Susanna from Le Nozze di Figaro. My oversight? Or do certain composers–Puccini, for instance–create more memorable roles for the soprano voice? What do you think?

Hearty thanks to Twitter Opera folk @operarules, @operabetty, @mitchthetenor, @amzenon, @SpeeStuck, @ChiyoX, and @ReeseSondheim for their suggestions. and also to OperaAmerica website, which helped me constitute the following list:


Filed under Audience participation, Classic Opera, Poll, sopranos

6 Responses to What’s your favorite soprano role in opera?

  1. Interesting comment from John about performer/role connection. A favorite of mine–though I’d hate to be forced to pick just one–is the amazing Leonore from Beethoven’s Fidelio, which I gather is written with total disregard for what is easy for the human voice… but it sounds great.

    (Also, am I presuming correctly that the Leonora up there is from Trovatore rather than Forza? Maybe Verdi had a thing about the name.)

    • John

      Funny! I heard John Adams talk in Toronto recently and he was really quite apologetic about the fact that he wrote soprano roles that were pretty much unsingable.

      • Ha! This confirms my impression of Mr. Adams as a charming gentleman (and reinforces my admiration for Kathleen Kim’s fierce Madame Mao.)

  2. And do you have a fave soprano role, John?

    • John

      I don’t think there is a role that I would single out. There are certain performances where the fit of singer to to role seems near perfect so I could single out Maria Ewing’s Dido w/o saying Dido was my favourite role, or Scwarzkopf’s Contessa or Alison Hagley’s Susanna.

  3. John

    I think there are a few memorable Mozart soprano roles; Susanna and the Countess in Figaro, Constanze, Fiordiligi, Servilia, Elettra. Certainly Mozart wrote some of the best soubrette roles; Cherubino, Zerlina, Pamina, Blonde, Ilia.