Montserrat “La Superba” Caballé was known for her larger-than-life demeanour, but it was her voice that drew audiences to their feet. Montserrat Caballé rose to international opera popularity with her Carnegie Hall debut in 1965, and was praised for her unusual bel canto vocal technique.
Caballé was born on this day in 1933 in Barcelona, Spain, and spent much of her youth learning music and honing her voice at the local liceo. Caballé gave over 3,800 performances in over 80 roles on five continents after making her professional debut in Switzerland and early performances in Germany.
Caballé’s ability to sing in a variety of styles and keys led to opportunities to perform music ranging from Mozart to traditional performance pieces all around the world. Her illustrious career reached new heights in 1987, when she collaborated with close friend Freddie Mercury on the song “Barcelona,” which became the official anthem for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
During her career, Caballé got five Grammy nominations, winning the prize for Best Classical Vocal Performance in 1968. She also served as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and founded Fundació Montserrat Caballé, an institution that supports young talent in Barcelona.
La Superba, happy 89th birthday! Your legacy will live on.