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Montserrat Caballé

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Montserrat Caballé

Montserrat Caballé (12 April 1933 – 6 October 2018) was a Spanish (Catalan) operatic soprano. She was one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century. 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 examples. She had a voice of great range.

Life and career

Caballé was born in Barcelona, Spain. She studied at the Music Conservatory there 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. 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 first performance at the Metropolitan Opera that same year, as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust.

She was later 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. She revived a number of long neglected works by these composers.

In 1987, she duetted with Queen frontman Freddie Mercury for the hit single Barcelona. That sing became a hit again in 1992 during the Olympics that were being held there.

Caballé died on 6 October 2018 at the age of 85 from a gallbladder infection in Barcelona.[1]



  • The Complete Dictionary of Opera & Operetta, James Anderson, Wings Books, 1993.
  • Le Guide de l'Opéra, Roland Mancini & Jean-Jacques Rouveroux, Fayard, 1986.