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Classic FM Drive with John Brunning 5pm - 7pm
Born in Munich, Jonas Kaufmann is recognised as one of the most important tenors of our generation. He is lauded for his recent outstanding performance in Don Carlos under Semyon Bychkov at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
French soprano Natalie Dessay is one of the biggest stars of the operatic world, thrilling audiences across the globe as both a singer and an actress.
Flórez has become the Rossini tenor of choice in major international theatres and has sung under many acclaimed artists including Riccardo Muti and Roberto Abbado.
Joyce Di Donato is the American mezzo-soprano who famously found herself in casualty after injuring herself on stage during the first act of the opening night performance of 'The Barber of Seville' at the Royal Opera House. She has soared to international prominence in operas by Rossini, Handel, and Mozart, and is a successful recording artist.
For more than two decades, Cecilia has been a leading mezzo-soprano, achieving worldwide recognition and success. She has sold 6 million CDs and won countless awards across the globe, including 4 Grammys and 2 Classical Brit Awards.
Placido Domingo holds the record for the highest number of curtain calls ever: he took 101 at the Vienna State Opera in 1991 after a performance of Otello.
The US singer is at the peak of her soprano's career. She has released a number of classical albums - including an album of spiritually inspired music called 'Sacred Arias' and a recording of Richard Strauss' opera 'Daphne'.
The French operatic tenor rose to fame when he won the Luciano Pavarotti International Competition, but it was his appearance in the 1994 Covent Garden production of Gounod's 'Romeo et Juliette' which established him as one of the finest lyric tenors of his generation. He is married to soprano Angela Gheorghiu.
Jose Carreras has worldwide fame and fortune as part of the Three Tenors with Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
Operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli has recorded four complete operas, has sold forty-five million albums worldwide, most of them in his trademark popular classical style and the shelves at his home in Pisa, Italy are groaning with music industry awards.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa gained legendary status following her sensational debut as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971. She has since moved rapidly into the top ranks of international opera, becoming one of the most famous sopranos in the world.
The Argentinian factory worker was encouraged by his wife to give up the day job to pursue a professional singing career in Italy. A lucky break as an understudy for an opera company made him an overnight success and he has since performed at the world's great opera houses and enjoys a successful recording career.
Romanian-born Gheorghiu is one of the most famous contemporary sopranos in the world, noted for her performances in the operas of Verdi and Puccini. During her career she has regularly performed with Roberto Alagna, formerly her husband.
Described as 'Audrey Hepburn' of opera, Anna has performed with leading orchestras in opera houses around the world. Her first solo album achieved critical acclaim, including editor’s choice awards in Gramophone Magazine and Opera News.
Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe was admired for her bel canto technique and for her interpretations of the works of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi. She is well-known in the world of pop music for her duet with the Queen singer Freddie Mercury on the hit single 'Barcelona'.
The rising young tenor made his opera debut at the age of 19 and was a prize winner in Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999. He has since performed at the New York Met and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
The tenor credited for inspiring Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras to follow opera careers was a huge opera star during the 1940s, known for singing Alfredo to Maria Calla's Violetta in the famous La Scala recording of La Traviata.
The English mezzo-soprano enjoyed an extensive operatic career and was known for her interpretations of early Italian opera and the works of Benjamin Britten, Gustav Mahler and Edward Elgar.
Jose Cura is a leading operatic tenor known for his original interpretations of his characters. He originally trained as an orchestral conductor, and made history when he first conducted Cavalleria Rusticana and then stepped on stage after intermission to sing.
Pavarotti is recognised as one of the most popular classical artists in the history of the recording industry, performing on opera's major stages and for bringing opera to the masses when he performed 'Nessun Dorma' at the opening of the World Cup.
Retired Australian soprano Dame Joan Sutherland has won many accolades, including a CBE and the title Australian of the Year in 1961. Her speciality was 18th- and 19th-century Italian bel canto opera.
Blackpool-born tenor Alfie Boe because the first artist to sign to Classic FM's offshoot record label 'Classic FM Presents' in early 2006. His eponymous debut was released to critical acclaim in November 2006.