Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Opera singer Montserrat Caballe dies in Barcelona, aged 85

Montserrat Caballe performs during a concert The singer's death was confirmed early on Saturday morning Credit REUTERS Victor Fraile File
Freda Brock | 07 October, 2018, 07:38

Known for her tone, stunning control, and ability to master new parts, Caballe gained popularity for her down-to-earth personality and light-hearted demeanor.

Her voice was described by her fans as inspirational, legendary and not of this world.

Cabelle, who had been ill for some years, dueted with Queen's Freddie Mercury on the song "Barcelona" which was a worldwide hit in 1987.

"She went beyond opera and classical music showing that opera singers are not just limited to the opera houses but go way beyond that", Christina Sheppelmann, the Liceu's artistic director, told reporters on Saturday in Barcelona.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said a "a great ambassador of our country has died". "Her voice and her kindness will always remain with us".

A service for the singer, who has long suffered from health problems, will be held on Sunday with a funeral the following day, according to Barcelona authorities.

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"Her loss leaves a huge void", he said.

Throughout her career, Montserrat Caballé starred in 90 opera roles, appearing on stage in 4,000 performances.

The opera star, who was accepted for tuition in a Barcelona music conservatory as a child, had her global breakthrough in 1965, in a performance of Lucrezia Borgia at the Carnegie Hall in NY.

Caballe's 50 year career saw her tour throughout the world and was she previously hailed as one of the world's greatest ever voices.

Her last performance took place in the Catalan town of Cambrills in August of 2014.

In 2015, Caballe was convicted of tax fraud and was given a suspended sentence of six months in prison, which she avoided since first convictions resulting in sentences of less than two years in Spain can be suspended by a judge.

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