favorite SOPRANO?

Who are some of your favorite SOPRANO's and/or CD recordings......something that absolutely melts you away.
I'm kinda partial to Tony myself. Bada Bing :o)
none especially female that particular frequency range just makes me want to run for cover far far away.
Margaret Price sings Mozart on RCA (2CD's), to die for.
Try Maria Callas, esp early recordings. Compilations abound. Choose Italian opera first. Cheers
Yes, Callas. Also Renee Fleming. And Cecilia Bartoli for Mozart. And, yes, Montserrat Caballe for the Italian greats
I second Cecilia Bartholi
Michael Jackson
tony .
Elly Ameling, the great Dutch soprano, posessesor of a most pure musical voice, particularly well suited to modern recording-check out:"The Art of Elly Ameling"
Philips 473 451-2 (5CD)set with music from Bach to Cole Porter.
I also agree with the vote for Elly Ameling. She is also fantastic with Schubert Lieder. Pentatone is releasing this as an RQR SACD.
I heard from reliable source that she's not a very nice in person.
Caballe, on the other hand, is great and charming in public. Only wishing she's in better health though. Flew to NY over Memorial Day week-end to attend her concert only to find out she had to cancel last minute due to illness.
Bartoli seems to have become more breathy and nasal in the past few years. I now find her a little annoying. My current favourite is the gifted Korean soprano, Sumi Jo.
Inessa Galante's Arietta. Limpid tone.
Wayne Newton
It is so sad that Victoria De Los Angelos is not mentioned she and Caballe are really the best artists to have ever sung in the opera house.
Pedrillo, now that you have mentioned her, she's no longer forgotten. :)
I love her too.
If you're looking for beautiful soprano voices that "absolutely melt you away," I'd recommend in particular (limiting this to the about last 50 years) Victoria de los Angeles, Leontyne Price, Zinka Milanov, Renata Tebaldi, Joan Sutherland, and Renee Fleming. All had/have major soprano voices of great beauty, and all could/can "absolutely melt you away" when in their primes. Callas was a great singer and a great artist but not conspicuous for the beauty of her voice, which always had problems. Bartoli is a fine artist but not a soprano.
Texasdave, Zinka Milanov doing "Pace pace mio Dio" from La Forze Del Destino is still unbeatable. The pianissimo seems to go on forever and the note just floats out of nowhere.
Gaudio eek, I agree about Milanov's "Pace pace mio Dio" (the old mono one), a great recording. In her prime she could float a high pianissimo like no one else. Her 1952 mono "Il Trovatore" with Bjoerling, Warren, and Barbieri (still the best one) has more of these ravishing, floated high pianissimos.
Kiri Te Kanawa is missing, Andrea Rost among contemporary spranos also as beatuful voice. Cecilia Bartoli is mezzo-soprano, but still has a beautiful voice. Her vivaldi album is fantastic.
High Pitch Eric
I go with Callas.
She has unique sense of drama and passion that infuses her vocals that others just cannot match. Although technically not greatest vocal range compared to someone like Sutherland, he voice in the 1950's was magnificent and can be heard on quality mono recordings during this period. The stereo work from early 1960's is still pretty good but best years behind her. One of the best collections is "La Divina" 3CD set which contains some prime mono era work........many many more good collections also available.

Although most of Cecilia Bartoli's work is with Rossini and Mozart, she is in her real element with the rare Vivaldi and Gluck collections. Comes packaged in cool hardbound book format
Dawn Upshaw gets my vote. She may not have the most "gorgeous" soprano voice but she has an intelligence to her musicality that's amazing.
Tooter, well said. Every Dawn Upshaw's disc is well conceived and satisfying. A friend of mine saw her recently at the Opera National de Paris in a production of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites and thought she was amazing.
Yes, Kiri Te Kanawa should have been on my short list of most beautiful soprano voices, and here's a stunning, offbeat track of hers that most opera buffs don't know about. In 1974, when she was in her youthful prime, not yet an internationally famous singer, she recorded the aria from the mythical opera Salammbo in the RCA "Classic Film Scores" series: the recording (issued as both LP and CD) is "Citizen Kane: Classic Film Scores of Bernard Herrmann," Charles Gerhardt conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra. Like all the recordings in this series, this was engineered by the great Kenneth Wilkinson, and this is one of Wilkie's triumphs: the sound is simply awesome; the music is colorful, imaginative, original, with lots of unusual sounds; the entire recording is an audiophile's delight from beginning to end. Young Kiri's singing is breathtaking, and her aria, played on a first-rate system, will knock your socks off.
Just got all 3 of Pentatone RQR SACD of Elly Ameling (recorded in '73): 1 of Schubert Lieder, 1 of Schumann Frauenliebe und Leben etc., 1 of Mozart Opera & Concert Arias. What lovely performances with beautiful remastered multi-channel sound to boot. Those who like this kind of repertoire should seek these SACD's out.
This kind of information flow and sharing of music loved by many is what really makes me happy here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Drea DeMatteo, ooooh yeah.
Tiny Tim
Sofie von Otter. Her recording of Marianne Cantata w/ Goebel (Archiv 4D recording) is absolutely sublime. Her rendition of "He shall feed his flock like a shephard" is mesmerizing. She also has an Artist Album out that's beautiful as well.
I can't pick a specific artist as the BEST is all, but some of my favorite recordings that have not yet been mentioned would have to be:

Angela Gheorghiu's Ebben?... Ne Andro Lontana (La Wally)

Renee Fleming's O Silver Moon (Rusalka)

Caballe's Chi il bel sogno di Doretta (la Rondine)

Tony is my favorite but Junior is cool too.
you may want to go back many years to hear some good sopranos, such as lily pons and bidu sayao (i may be spelling her name incorrectly). renata tebaldi was no slouch. my point is listen to the stars of the 50s and 60s to hear vocal beauty.
Annie Haslam!!
baddabing LITTLE STEVEN or his he a tenor?
Early Renata Tebaldi -
Jeanette LaBianca - Buffalo N.Y. raised coloratura. Brief career at LaScala - then vanished.
Regine Crespin -
Kristin Chenoweth -
Birgit Nilsson
Barbara Bonney, anyone?
Warm and intimate, very human and feminine:
Sandrine Piau
Barbara Bonney
Patricia Petibon
Veronique Gens
Carolyn Sampson
Isabel Bayrakdarian
Emma Kirkby

Most other sopranos sound "hard" and "too constructed/trained" to me
Its got to be Chico Esquela. I have not seen nor heard him in along time, but his first release on the SNL label "Opera Been Vely, Vely Good To Me!" is an all time classic.
Definitely Meadow.
Mirella Freni. Listen to Verdi's Simon Boccanegra on DG, the classic Abbado recording from 1977 - it's about the finest moment on record imho. Available on midprice CD (DG 449 752-2) or a 3LP box set (DG 2740-169)
Artmaltman has it. Meadow rocks!
Well you see what happens in the Sopranos when they SING....
Definitely Victoria De Los Angeles and for one opera, Beecham's "La Boheme" with her as Mimi and Bjorling as Rodolfo, just heaven.
There are so many others too, Callas in anything, for that unique voice and the emotion in her singing, Swharzkopff for Strauss, Te Kanawa for Mozart, Cecilia Bartoli for Rossini, Sutherland, Leontyne Price. I am afraid the one mentioned I don't like is Caballe. I have one opera recorded later in her career, where her voice has the character of chalk scraping on a blackboard.
I like Eril's list, but like to add Angela Gheorghiu and Renee Fleming. Sandrine Piau singing Mozart is still my favorite though.
Joan Baez
Edita Gruberova. Try her in lieders from Richard Strauss or Mozart's concert arias. Goosebumps guaranteed.