Caballé, Montserrat

Caballé, Montserrat mōnsĕrät´ käbälyā´ [key], 1933–, Spanish soprano, b. Barcelona. 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 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. Her voice is noted for its purity, precise control, and power. Remarkably active during her long career, Caballé has sung over 80 operatic roles, including the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Salomé; recorded more than 30 roles; and sung in all of the world's major opera houses. A superb interpreter of songs, particularly those of her native Spain, she is also noted for her recital performances.

See biography by R. Pullen and S. Taylor (1995).

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