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Montserrat Caballe

Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folc, better known as Montserrat Caballé (born April 12, 1933, Barcelona, Spain), is a Spanish soprano. One of the greatest sopranos of the 20th century, she possesses a voice of remarkable beauty and of great range and flexibility, renowned for her flawless bel canto technique and unfailling musicianship. She is particularly admired for her famous interpretations of the works of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Although best known for her bel canto roles, Caballé eventually sang over eighty operatic roles, from baroque opera to Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, including the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Salome. Caballé is also a noted recitalist, particularly of songs of her native Spain. Her voice is noted for its purity, precise control, and power. She is admired less for her dramatic instincts and acting skills than for her superb technique, vocal shadings, and exquisite pianissimos. The result of one of her brief excursions to the world of pop music, Caballé's duet with rock singer Freddie Mercury, Barcelona , was a hit single in 1987, accompanied by an album of the same name. The title track later became the anthem of the 1992 Summer Olympics which was hosted by the city, and appeared again in the pop music charts throughout Europe. Caballé also performed the song live, accompanied by a recording of the deceased Mercury, before the 1999 UEFA Champions League football final in Barcelona's Nou Camp stadium. Caballé has dedicated herself to various charities. She is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and she has established a foundation for needy children in Barcelona. Caballé does not appear to have retired from the stage. She continues to assume new roles: in 2002, Catherine of Aragon in Saint-Saëns' Henri VIII; in 2004, the title role in Massenet's Cléopâtre, both at the Liceu. At the age of 73 (2006), she still maintains a busy schedule of recitals and concerts, mainly in Germany. And she is due to appear as The Duchess of Crackentorp in La fille du régiment at the Vienna State Opera in 2007.

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