Caballé, Montserrat mōnsĕrät´ käbälyā´ [key], 1933–2018, Spanish soprano. After voice study with Eugenia Kemeny and Conchita Badia in Barcelona, she made her operatic debut in Basel, Switzerland, in 1956, singing Mimi in Puccini's La Bohème. She became an overnight success with American audiences and an international star in 1965 after singing in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall in New York City. That same year she made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust; she sang there nearly a hundred times during her career. Her voice was noted for its purity, precise control, and power, and she was unsurpassed in bel canto technique. During her long career, Caballé sang more than 100 operatic roles, including the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Salomé, and recorded more than 30 roles. A true prima donna, one of the finest opera singers of the second half of the 20th cent., she was followed by wildly enthusiastic fans. She also was a superb interpreter of songs, particularly those of her native Spain.
See biography by R. Pullen and S. Taylor (1995).
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