Last Saturday, 6th October, we lost one of the most beautiful voices. Spanish operatic soprano, Montserrat Caballé died at the of 85. She was very popular to non-classical musical audiences too since in 1987 she recorded the request of the IOC Barcelona, a duet with Freddie Mercury, which became the official theme song for the 1992 Olympic Games.
Maria de Montserrat Bibiana Concepción Caballé i Folch was born in Barcelona in 1933. Her talent was discovered when she was only 6 years old, during a Christmas party at her grandparents’ house. Suddenly she started to sing Un Bel Di Vendremo de Madama Butterfly catching the attention of all family. She believed that in that moment her parents decided she must study music.
Caballé started her musical formation at the Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona, and to study singing technique with Napoleone Annovazzi, Eugenia Kemény and Conchita Badía. With Kemény she started to develop her respiration technique, and then one of the best sopranos in the history of music began to be shaped.
She is best known as an exponent of Verdi’s work and of the bel canto repertoire (Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, etc.), but Caballé sang a wide variety of roles. The international recognition came when she performed Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at the Carnegie Hall in 1965.
Her funeral was last Monday, 9th October. It was a very simple and religious ceremony, respecting the wishes of her family, in which relatives, friends, politicians, personalities from the world of culture and many fans have said their last goodbye to the soprano.
- Her voice has been described as pure and powerful at the same time, with superb control of vocal shadings and exquisite pianissimo.
- She received several international awards, including a Grammy for a number one of her recordings.
- El País: Funeral – other articles (in Spanish)
- La Vanguardia (in Spanish)
- Liceo Opera Barcelona: Tribute – Condolence (in Spanish)
- Wikipedia (in English – Spanish – Catalan)