Montserrat Caballé (born 12 April 1933) is a Spanish (Catalan) operatic soprano and one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. Although she sang a wide variety of roles, she was particularly associated with the bel canto repertoire in which she was considered one of the finest modern exponents. She possessed a voice of great range and remarkable beauty combined with impeccable musicianship and a flawless technique.
Life and career[change | change source]
Born in Barcelona, Spain, she studied at the Music Conservatory of her native city and graduated in 1954 with a gold medal. She began her professional career in Basel in 1956, as Mimi in La bohème. She then joined the Bremen Opera, where she sang from 1959 to 1962, in a wide variety of roles.
International recognition came in 1965, when she appeared in a concert performance of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall in New York City, as a replacement of an indisposed Marilyn Horne. The performance won her great acclaim from public and critics alike and made her an overnight sensation. Her success led to her debut that same year at the Metropolitan Opera, as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust.
She has since then been invited to sing at most of the major opera houses and festivals of the world. She was especially admired in works by composers such as Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini and Verdi, and revived a number of long neglected works by these composers.
In 1987, she duetted with Queen frontman Freddie Mercury for the hit single Barcelona which also became a hit again in 1992 during the Olympics that were being held there.
Sources[change | change source]
- The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson, Wings Books, 1993.
- Le Guide de l'Opéra, Roland Mancini & Jean-Jacques Rouveroux, Fayard, 1986.