The Audience Speaks: : Singers Who Move Me

“There is no question that this man reaches an audience like no other. He can move us to tears and to joy with the warmth and passion in his voice.”

“Carreras…communicates the message of the song or aria better than any other.”

“Whenever Carreras performs, you always feel he is singing directly to you. You can always tell what the song represents by his facial expressions.”

“Mr. Carreras has been gifted with a voice that is rich, mellow, and captures your attention the moment you hear it. From Bernstein to Bizet, from Wagner to Weber, his voice makes the music touch your soul. He is a walking miracle.”

“Carreras has always said that his main reason for singing is to communicate with others, and he does it admirably. He makes every listener feel as if he is singing just for them.”

“His music reaches my soul.”

Numerous singers received votes for their communication talents. These artists came in at the top of the poll.
Read the comments for all singers here

2.Edita Gruberova“This is no ordinary singer. When one sees and hears Gruberova sing, one is watching and hearing not only believable theatre, but singing of the highest order. Ms. Gruberova…is one of the greatest living singers in the field of opera and recital.”

3. Dawn Upshaw“Ms. Upshaw’s beautiful, expressive singing has been an inspiration to me from the first time a friend lent me one of her recordings. The way she colors her words, and her ability to sing in the appropriate style of a given piece of music, are things few singers today are able to match.”

4. Diana Soviero (Audience Impact:What Is It? Who Has It?)

5. Placido Domingo(tie)“He communicates with everything: voice, face, body language. There is no emotion that he cannot feel, and, therefore, make you feel.”

5. Bryn Terfel (tie)“Terfel encompasses a magnificent, expressive melodic capacity, with nuances of diction and dynamics…He so transported me with his incredible command of language, range of dynamics, and fresh interpretation, that I could have sat and listened for several more hours.”

More Poll CommentsA number of singers were mentioned in our website poll, including a significant percentage who received votes but no written comments. Here is a representative sample of what was said about whom.

Anne-Sofie von Otter“Although I have never heard this artist live, her recordings of a variety of styles (Baroque opera to contemporary Lieder) never fail to move me. It is one thing to be moved/impressed with a singer while watching and listening in a concert hall or opera house. But to get that same feeling of immediacy and intimacy through a recording is a credit to this consummate singer.”

Beverly Sills“Sills could say more in one word than many singers can in an aria. Take, for example, her Lucia. In the scene following the sextet when Edgardo confronts her and asks her if she did not sign the marriage contract, Lucia says only, “Sí.” But as Sills uttered it, it conveyed all the anger and hurt and anguish, plus a tinge of an accusatory challenge for Edgardo’s absence. It is a defining moment and shows just how much insight, thought and talent Sills brought to her art.”

Carol Kirkpatrick“Some singers are wonderful to listen to; others are interesting to watch. She is that exceptional type of singer who makes you believe she is the character she is portraying. She has a huge voice that bowls the listener over with its beauty and power, while her interpretations are well thought-out and effective. I think she is the best communicator I’ve heard in a long while.”

Frederica von Stade“Flicka is the most honest, real performer I’ve ever seen. She infuses her roles with a life all their own. I have seen her many times in concert and in opera, and her singing has absolutely never failed to move me. She is the reason I became an opera singer.”

Cecilia Bartoli“I cannot help but be moved every time I listen to her Aria Antiche CD. These pieces are ones that most seem to pass over as simple, but to hear them sung correctly and so beautifuly is truly a moving experience. The variety of colors and emotions expressed through her voice is heavenly.”

Hildegard Behrens“I’ve never been so completely enraptured by a singer as I have been by Behrens. Not a beautiful voice, but her Salome, Elektra and Brunnhilde never fail to make me cry… She really speaks to me with her singing.”“Live, she is extraordinarily moving. She is a wonderful actress, and in the Ring cycle, she just blows you away.:

Paul Plishka“On and off the stage, Plkishaka is a concummate artists. His communication comes from within. He uses tone colors in the voice to express the emotion of the character or song.”

Renata Scotto“I have heard Scotto in over 20 operatic roles and in concert various times. The way she colors her voice which has to many different shades and nuances makes her the most expressaive singer I’ve ever heard. For me she will alwayd be the pre-eminent soprano of the post-Callas period.”

Renee Fleming“I find her to be the most expressive singer I have seen: a wonderful actress, physically free and believable, and an incredibly communicative singer whose choice of vocal colors and phrasing can express the character’s emotion with perfect clarity.”

Samuel Ramey“Every live performance I have seen, Ramey is always a take-charge, believable character.”

Sylvia McNair“I think she’s great at communicating with her audience. Her expression and interpretation of songs help the audience to understand more about the songs’ messages.”

Thomas Hampson“I adore many singers, but something about the way Hampson feels the meaning of the words and then communicates the feeling to the listener is truly glorious and unparalleled.”

Victoria de los Angeles“As Manon, Butterflky, Mimi, Desdemona, and other roles, she provided us with a complete understanding, both intellectual and affectual, of the character she was portraying, and added to that her mastery of both the culture and style of the composer.”

Waltraud Meier“Intensely lived drama is what this great artist gives her audiences.”

CJ Williamson

CJ Williamson founded Classical Singer magazine. She served as Editor-in-Chief until her death in July, 2005. Read more about her incredible life and contributions to the singing community here.