Surprising Facts about Monserrat Caballé - Spain's Legendary Opera Diva

"I had seven major surgeries in my life. In 1969 I had an accident in New York that required immediate surgery, and it took me four whole months to recover. So I don't cancel concerts because of my temperament.

What you may not have known about the great and unparalleled Montserrat Caballé

Her voice. stirred up the whole worldBut many of the facts of her biography remained a mystery even to the most devoted fans. Her coloratura soprano The Spanish language was a great delight to contemporaries as well as those who discovered Spanish opera diva after her death. Alas, in October. 2018 year the legendary singer passed away. But in the hearts of millions of people she will live forever!

Montserrat Caballé is well known not only to fans of Operabut also to admirers of rock. Her collaborative album with Freddie Mercury - an icon of its time - was recognized as a masterpiece! "Barcelona." - This is the name not only of the record, but also of the title song: it hometown of the singer, in which she took her first steps toward world fame...

She grew up in poverty

Montserrat Caballé as a child
Montserrat Caballé as a child

The future icon of Spanish opera was born in 1933 year in Barcelona in a very poor family. Spain of those years was experiencing not the best times, which, of course, affected its inhabitants. But despite poverty, parents Mary (the singer's real name) were full of optimism!

"Despite the poverty and all the hardships we were forced into, my parents were optimistic. Every day we woke up and didn't know where the next crust of bread would come from! However, they (my parents) kept looking at the world and enjoying all its bright colors..."

Caballe's recollections show that her parents loved classical musicand in particular - opera! Thus, little Maria was introduced to a genre with which she would later go hand in hand throughout her life...

First big success and 20 minutes of applause

Montserrat Caballé in her youth
Montserrat Caballé in her youth

From the mid-50s to the mid-60s, Montserrat performed at opera houses in various cities Europe - from Vienna to Barcelona to Bremen! But the world's fame fell on her in 1965 year in the New York City Carnegie Hall! It was completely by accident that Caballe sang the part in the opera Donizetti "Lucrezia Borgia" Instead of Marilyn Hornewho got sick.

It is said that the applause lasted at least 20 minutes! This is what the leading newspapers wrote:

"It was something incredibly beautiful - Monserrat Caballé has one of the most beautiful voices in the history of opera! She made an indelible impression on an audience spoiled by stars like Callas and Sutherland. The applause did not stop for 25 minutes! When Caballe sang, something changed in the atmosphere. For a second it was as if all the people were holding their breath...".

"Long Live Rock!"

Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe
Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe

During her lifetime, Montserrat Caballé had the opportunity to meet rock not in words, but in deeds! Her first experience was a collaborative album with Freddie Mercury, frontman Queen and a great admirer of the opera diva! After learning about the artist's illness, Caballe did not dare refuse him.

And the marvelous result of their tandem The public continues to marvel to this day...

"Her voice is the best voice in the world," Freddie once said.

But at "Barcelona" Monserrat's introduction to the world of rock did not end. In 1997, the singer recorded a heartfelt ballad "One Life One Soul In conjunction with a rock band Gotthard.

Health problems

Montserrat Caballé
Montserrat Caballé

Throughout her life, Caballé struggled with her ailments.. Benign brain tumor, heart attack, phlebitis - problems with health pursued the singer, and sometimes even forced her to cancel performances!

"I had seven major surgeries in my life. In 1969 I had an accident in New York that required immediate surgery, and it took me four whole months to recover. So I don't cancel concerts because of my temperament.

Love that lasts a lifetime

Montserrat Caballe and her husband
Montserrat Caballe and her husband

In 1964 The year Montserrat married the Bernabe MartiWith whom she remained married until her death... Both shared an enormous passion for music. Marty was a fine Spanish operatic tenor! However, due to problems with his lungs, he had problems with his voice and had to leave the stage.

Montserrat Caballe with her husband and son
Montserrat Caballe with her husband and son

The couple gave birth to two children - daughter Montserrat Marty followed in her parents' footsteps! As for her father, the man passed away peacefully in 2022 at the age of 93 years old..

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