Ezio Pinza

1892 – 1957

The Italian bass spent 22 seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and also performed on Broadway in “South Pacific.”

Some Enchanted Evening

Il Lacerato Spirito

Nelson Eddy

1901 – 1967

American Bariotne Nelson Eddy was the highest paid singer in his day. His appeal spanned both fans of opera and popular music. He is said to have had a repertoire of 28 operas but also found success on the silver screen with Jeanette MacDonald in Naughty Marietta and an early version of Phantom of the Opera.

When I Get Too Old To Dream

Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life

Jeanette MacDonald 

1903 – 1965

Those who believe classical crossover is a modern development need only to go back to the career of Jeanette McDonald to see that its influence has long been felt. Back in the 1900’s classical training in popular singers was far from unusual. Jeanette sang arias and brought operetta classics like “Naughty Marietta” to life on the big screen.

Italian Street Song

The Holy City

Howard Keel

1919 – 2004

Howard Keel’s career took off in the time when the distinction between Broadway and Classical singers was far more blurry than in contemporary musical theater. This American bass-baritone was featured in many MGM Musicals including “Showboat” “Kiss me Kate” “Seven Wives for Seven Brothers” and “Kismet.”

Where is the Life That Late I Led

I can Do without You

Deanna Durbin

1921 – 2013

From her first appearance on the silver screen in 1936 in Three Smart Girls (the film that would save Universal from bankruptcy), Deanna Durbin was America’s sweetheart. Among her legions of fans were Maria Callas, Joan Sutherland and Winston Churchill! Deanna retired in 1948 to pursue a normal life and the studio sought to find a replacement but her success was never duplicated. Her films remain a testament to the phenomenal voice she had and also showcase one of the earliest examples of classical crossover (before it was even a genre). Deanna’s repertoire spanned from arias, to operettas, folk songs and standards and her strong technique was unwavering throughout. She is one of the earliest female singers we have recording of singing such male classics as “Nessun Dorma.”

Largo al factotum:

Nessun Dorma:

Mario Lanza

1921 – 1959

One of the most famous examples of classical crossover at it’s finest. Possessing a wonderful instruments Lanza attempted to fulfill a operatic career in addition to his work in films. He is said to have influenced the three tenors and he remains one of the best loved tenors in modern times. Despite his loyalty to opera, Mario exemplifies the charisma and charm that modern crossover tenors seek to emulate. Much of his repertoire is considered standard fare for classical crossover tenors today.

Nessun Dorma:

I’ll Walk with God:

Gordon MacRae

1921 – 1986

He sang at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and soon after debuted on Broadway. He is famous for his roles in “Oklahoma” and “Carousel.” He later even had his own radio show and was featured in many films alongside Doris Day.

Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’

The Impossible Dream

Kathryn Grayson

1922 – 2010

She was trained in opera from the age of 12 but Kathryn Grayson is best remembered for her roles in films like “Show Boat” and “Kiss Me Kate” as well as being a supporting star to Mario Lanza in “The Toast of New Orleans.” She would later fulfill some of her operatic dreams onstage and also follow Julie Andrews in the production of “Camelot.” She later supervised voice and choral studies at the Idaho State University.

La Brindisi:

Waltz Serenade:

Patrice Munsel

1925 – 2016

At 18, Patrice was the youngest singer ever contracted at the Metropolitan Opera. She shared her music through her own TV show ‘The Patrice Munsel Show’ and in a live broadcast of ‘Naughty Marietta.’

Un Bel Di

Barbara Cook

1927 – Present

She shared her coloratura on Broadway in productions like “Candide” and “The Music Man” and only announced her retirement in 2017.

Salute to Vienna

Glitter and Be Gay

Ann Blyth 

1928 – Present

Ann was a celebrated actress and even Oscar nominated for her role in Mildred Pierce (also starring Joan Crawford). Her voice featured in musicals like Kismet and the celebrated film ‘The Young Caruso’

Indian Love Song

Stranger in Paradise

Jane Powell

1929 – Present

Poised to take Deanna’s place, Jane Powell brought her own brand of magic to films from 1944 onwards. Some of her most famous films include “A Date with Judy” (starring a young Elizabeth Taylor), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Royal Wedding.” Like Durbin before her, Jane served up a song selection of operetta and Broadway classics and also had a career on the stage.

Daughter of the Regiment

Obéissons quand leur voix appelle

Anna Moffo

1932 – 2006

Another early inspiration comes from the career of American born soprano Anna Moffo. She was a lead soprano at the Metropolitan opera and is known for her contributions to that genre. However, Moffo also was a television personality with her own special “The Anna Moffo Show.” The show allowed her to spread her wings and perform a variety of different music.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes:

It’s a Grand Night for Singing:

Shirley Jones

1934 – Present

The beautiful soprano Shirley Jones is beloved for her roles in several classic musicals including, “Carousel,” “Oklahoma” and “The Music Man.” She is known as being the only singer Rodgers & Hammerstein ever put under personal contract.

Till There Was You

It Might as Well be Spring

Julie Andrews

1935 – Present

It seems the whole world fell in love with Julie Andrews in Sound of Music which was cleverly marketed as ‘The Happiest Sound in the World.’ She also originated the role of Eliza Dolittle on Broadway as well as Guinevere in Camelot. She is also known for the classic Mary Poppins and in later years, Victor Victoria. Less known is that Julie was classically trained (she claims Handel as one of the best for her developing voice) and performed different classical art songs in her early performances. Even after she became known as a Broadway singer she performed with classical star Placido Domingo for a Christmas telecast.


I Could Have Danced All Night

List Compiled with thanks to Diana Victoria Aljadeff. We will continue to add and edit as time permits.