Span­ish opera le­gend Ca­balle dead at age 85

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - WORLD - By Ciaran Giles and Joseph Wil­son

BARCELONA, Spain — Montser­rat Ca­balle, a Span­ish opera singer renowned for her bel canto tech­nique and her in­ter­pre­ta­tions of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, has died. She was 85.

Ca­balle died early Sat­ur­day at Hos­pi­tal San Pau in Barcelona, hos­pi­tal spokesman Abra­ham del Moral told The As­so­ci­ated

Press. Ca­balle’s fam­ily re­quested the cause of death not be re­leased, del Moral said, adding that she had been in the hos­pi­tal since Septem­ber.

Span­ish me­dia said that Ca­balle en­tered the hos­pi­tal last month be­cause of a gall blad­der prob­lem.

Con­do­lences poured in from the world of opera and Spain’s high­est au­thor­i­ties.

King Felipe VI tweeted that Ca­balle was “the great lady of opera, le­gend of uni­ver­sal cul­ture, the best of the best” and that “her per­son­al­ity and un­equaled voice will ac­com­pany us for­ever.” Span­ish Prime Min­is­ter Pe­dro Sanchez said a “a great am­bas­sador of our coun­try has died.”

For tenor Jose Car­reras, opera lost its “best so­prano” with the pass­ing of Ca­balle.

“Of all the so­pra­nos that I have heard live, I have never heard any­one like Montser­rat,” Car­reras told Catalunya Ra­dio.

Car­reras praised her “ver­sa­til­ity,” say­ing “she could do ev­ery­thing from the purest bel canto all the way to Wag­ner’s ‘Tris­tan und Isolde.’ ”

Barcelona’s Liceo opera house, where Ca­balle per­formed over 200 times, and Venice’s Teatro La Fenice also pub­lished tweets lament­ing her loss. Madrid’s Teatro Real said it would ded­i­cate Sat­ur­day’s per­for­mance of “Faust” to the mem­ory of Ca­balle, laud­ing the “sin­gu­lar beauty of her voice” and her prodi­gious tech­nique.

Lon­don’s Royal Opera com­pany said it was “sad­dened to hear ” of Ca­balle’s death and that she “sang with us on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions be­tween 1972 and 1992 and in­spired mil­lions over the course of her ca­reer with her stun­ning voice.”

Born into a work­ing class fam­ily in Barcelona, Ca­balle un­veiled her mu­si­cal tal­ents early on, sing­ing Bach can­tatas at the age of 7.

In her al­most un­lim­ited reper­toire, she starred in 90 opera roles with nearly 4,000 stage per­for­mances. Opera singer Maria Cal­las is once said to have an­swered “Only Ca­balle …” when asked once who she con­sid­ered a wor­thy suc­ces­sor.

Montser­rat Ca­balle

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