She was born in Bologna, where she studied with Marchesi and Secchiaroli, and made her debut at the Teatro Comunale Bologna, as Mimi in La bohème. She quickly enjoyed considerable success at major opera houses throughout Italy, Turin, Venice, Parma, Palermo, Rome and Milan, etc. She was a regular guest at the Verona Arena from 1956 to 1972. On January 26, 1957, she took part in the world premiere of Francis Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites, as Mère Marie, at La Scala in Milan.
She was admired in dramatic roles, especially by Verdi and Puccini and some other verismo composers such as Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Giordano. She can be heard on a complete recording of Tosca, opposite Ferruccio Tagliavini and Giangiacomo Guelfi and in Jan Schmidt-Garre's film Opera Fanatic and also as Minnie in La fanciulla del West by Puccini together with Franco Corelli as Ramerrez and Tito Gobbi as Rance –Live Recording, La Scala, Milan April 4, 1956.
- Rich, Maria F. (1976). Who's who in Opera: An International Biographical Directory of Singers, Conductors, Directors, Designers, and Administrators, Also Including Profiles of 101 Opera Companies, Volume 1. yer Company Publishers, Incorporated. ISBN 040506652X.
- Carlino, il Resto del (4 December 2016). "Addio a Gigliola Frazzoni, il grande soprano - il Resto del Carlino". ilrestodelcarlino.it. Retrieved 5 December 2016.