Elisabeth Rethberg (September 22, 1894 – June 6, 1976) was an German soprano opera singer, active from the period of the First World War through to the early 1940s.
Some hailed her as the greatest soprano of her day. (Her chief contemporary rival at the New York Metropolitan Opera was the Italian-American soprano Rosa Ponselle, who possessed a bigger and darker-hued voice.)
While she did not break any new ground dramatically or vocally, Rethberg was just as much at home singing in Italian or German. She employed her pure, beautiful and good-sized lyric voice with such focus that she never seems obscured in old recordings by either loud orchestras or larger-voiced partners. She slotted ideally into delicate Mozartian roles yet was one of the greatest Verdi sopranos that the Metropolitan Opera has ever known. Her singing of the more lyrical Wagnerian soprano parts such as Sieglinde, Eva, Elsa, and Elisabeth was unsurpassed in its day and probably since.