Could Elvis have sung opera?

A friend abused me for my claim that I think Elvis could have sung opera.

What do I know about opera? Absolutely nothing.

When Elvis came out of the army, there was an attempt to have him sing more adult material, a few of them opera based. “It’s now or never” was O Solo Mia with the words rewritten. “Surrender” is another example. I’m not arguing that Caruso would have jumped up and applauded these efforts, but it’s not like Elvis had any training either – either way they show off an incredible instrument that released Country, Rhythm and Blues, Gospel, Rock, Hard Rock, and Blues music. Elvis was an expert in most of these catagories just from his innate love of music – the others he created.

So could he have sung opera? – if there are any experts out there let me know.

As for his instrument – he could do this with one foot solidly and sadly in the grave – “Hurt” from 1977

4 Responses to “Could Elvis have sung opera?”

  1. here’s something i found about this from an opera person Pamela Thomas – who is – well I have no idea

    Hi Pamela,
    I read that some voice teachers rated Elvis’ voice quite highly, saying he could gravitate between bass, baritone, and tenor. Also, the opera diva Kiri te Kanawa has been quoted as saying that the early Elvis Presley was the finest singer she ever heard. What is your opinion of his singing ability?

    Hi Wanda,

    I have always loves Elvis’ voice – it was warm, and beautiful. However, he never really took lessons to learn how to breathe or to really sing a line. If you listen to Love me Tender (one of my favorites) he breaks up the line a lot… and I noticed that when he sang softly his voice was breathy – when he sang louder it wasn’t. So although I think technically he could have made it better – I loved everything he did! so who cares, right? It really wasn’t just the voice per se – it was the performance – the pure joy he showed singing and the honesty about his performances – that’s because he had a natural gift and he just used it. Too bad he got off track with the drugs – but he was great.

    By the way – in my mind – it’s actually Frank Sinatra who had the great, great voice. He could have sung opera, I believe – but what a loss if he had. He had the most amazing breath control – AND – he acted through his songs.. every phrase was a jewel – he really was the best interpreter I’ve ever heard… and that voice!

    Anyway – just my thoughts.


  2. “Presley’s registration, the breadth of his tone, listening to some of his records, you’d think you were listening to an opera singer. But …it’s an opera singer with a deep connection to the blues.” – (Jerry Wexler, co-founder of Atlantic Records)

  3. What? Most stupid statement I ever heard!
    Frank Sinatra had the great great voice? Compared to Elvis? In my opinion Sinatra is the most overated singer in music history. Singing flat with a weak voice and allmost no range at all. Compare the versions of My Way,and the Sinatra version is something that a average karaoke singer could do better. The unbelivealbe strengh of Elvis` voice is something we most likely never hear again. Placido Domingo once said that if could trade his great voice,it would be the voice of Elvis Presley! Elvis had a voice that the Gods could envy him.

  4. elvis presley was a genius at singing his voice was incredible his strengh the way he could hit high notes wa s mind blowing this guy wa s sent from go d i think he was the most nicest gu y ever and im from england

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