MONTSERRAT CABALLÉ

BARCELONA, SPAIN, APRIL 12, 1933—OCTOBER 6, 2018

FEW OPERA SINGERS rocketed to fame more swiftly than Montserrat Caballé. When the soprano substituted for Marilyn Horne in the title role in a concert performance of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall on April 20, 1965, she was virtually unknown beyond a few provincial European opera houses. After the performance—and a twenty-five-minute ovation—all that would change. Rival record companies dashed to Caballé’s dressing room to get her signature while the audience was still swooning in the aisles. (RCA won.) One new fan was heard shouting ecstatically to his companion, “Callas plus Tebaldi equals Caballé!” And of course invitations to sing all over the world poured in.

RTWT