Obituary: Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, “La Superba,” 85

Posted on: October 10, 2018

“Montserrat Caballé, the Spanish soprano widely counted among the last of the old-time prima donnas for the transcendent purity of her voice, the sweeping breadth of her repertory and the delirious adulation of her fans, died on Saturday in Barcelona,” writes Margalit Fox in Saturday’s (10/8) New York Times. “She was 85.… Ms. Caballé was an enduring, vibrant international presence, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera … Covent Garden; La Scala, and elsewhere, as well as at the opening ceremony of the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. She was also widely heard in recital…. ‘La Superba,’ the world press called her, elevating her to membership in an international soprano triumvirate that also included ‘La Divina’ (Maria Callas) and ‘La Stupenda’ (Joan Sutherland)…. Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch was born in Barcelona on April 12, 1933. Amid the Depression, and the Spanish Civil War, she was reared in poverty…. Her primary voice teacher [at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu in Barcelona], Eugenia Kemeny, made her pupils spend a full year doing vocal exercises and breath training before they could approach real music. That training, Ms. Caballé would say afterward, let her sustain her career as long as she did.”

Posted October 10, 2018