Caballé, Monserrat

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Caballé, Monserrat Gender: F
Montserrat Concepción Bibiana Caballé i Folch
born on 12 April 1933 at 21:00 (= 9:00 PM )
Place Barcelona, Spain, 41n23, 2e11
Timezone GMT h0e (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Astrodienst
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aricol.18.gif 22°29' s_mo.18.gif s_scocol.18.gif 24°30 Asc.s_scocol.18.gif 23°00'

File:Montserrat Caballé.jpg
Monserrat Caballé
photo: germanuncut77, license cc-by-sa-2.0


Spanish opera singer, a little-known soprano who had been singing mostly in German houses for the prior ten years when she stepped into the American Opera Society's 1965 concert performance of Donizetti's "Lucrezia Borgia" at Carnegie Hall. Replacing the pregnant Marilyn Horne, she had a week to rehearse the new role, and emerged as the opera world's hottest new talent of the decade. Her triumph led to invitations to sing at all the major houses worldwide. She rapidly captured international attention and interest for herself as an artist in a wave of audience fascination that remains undiminished.

Caballe's life began with a miracle. Born with the umbilical cord around her neck, she was being strangled until her head was completely black. Her mother prayed to the Virgin at the monastery of Montserrat, and when the baby survived, she was given her name after the location of the "Black Virgin," so named because the wood of the statue is black with age. Her family suffered from the poverty of the era, but she managed to complete her studies in Barcelona, at one point aided by the sponsorship of a wealthy family who believed in her talent. She began in the Conservatory when she was 8 and remained there until she was 22, studying not only voice but piano, composition, harmony and theory. She had been raised with music from birth; her family all loved music and she went to her first opera at four.

After winning First Prize in a vocal competition at 20, Caballe was rejected at her first audition in Rome. She was so crushed that she spent two weeks in bed. Eventually she landed a contract with the State Opera of Basel, Switzerland, in 1955, followed by work at houses in Bremen, Dusseldorf, Munich and Vienna. Soon her engagements were throughout Europe and to Mexico City and Buenos Aires. Her greatest triumph continued to be in the realm of bel canto.

Her first "Norma" was in 1970 in Barcelona, at the insistence of Joan Sutherland. She played the role in the Met three years later.

In a career of three decades, Caballe spent the last two at the pinnacle of her profession. Her vocal power had not lessened and she remained celebrated for the highly disciplined coloratura scalework and ethereal pianissimo phrases that first earned her fame. Her weight had been a problem as she suffered a high-blood-pressure attack, nor was her acting ability exceptional.

She met her husband, tenor Bernabe Marti, when the two were singing in a Barcelona production of "Madame Butterfly" and they married in 1964. They had two children, a son Bernabé and a daughter Montserrat (1972), and lived in a 16th century villa outside Barcelona. The daughter became a soprano singer later.

Caballe said of herself, "I am not a complicated person. I'm religious and love spending all my leisure time with my family." Yet she loved to sing, and spent much of her life in the sophisticated and glamorous world of the stage. "I knew quite early that to have a full life, it was necessary to do everything. I had to be a good mother and wife, and also continue my life in opera. Happiness comes from sharing life. I love singing all over the globe, but when I am through with the opera house, I need my family around me."

She had a hit single in 1988, "Barcelona", a duet with Freddie Mercury, which became the anthem for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Her 1997 album, "Friends For Life", included duets with singers such as Bruce Dickinson, Johnny Hallyday, Johnny Logan, Gino Vannelli, and Helmut Lotti.

On 20 October 2012 Caballé suffered a stroke in Yekaterinburg city, during her tour in the Russian Federation, and she was quickly transferred to Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona. She had been admitted to the same hospital in September 2018. She died on 6 October 2018 at the age of 85 from a gallbladder infection.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • associate relationship with Mercury, Freddie (born 5 September 1946). Notes: Co-released a duet, "Barcelona," in 1987


  • Social : Joined group 1942 (Began in the conservatory, age eight)
  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1955 (State Opera of Basel, Switzerland)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1964 (Bernabe Marti)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1965 (Carnegie Hall performance)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1973 (Appeared at the Met in "Norma")
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released April 2007 in Wien (after pause of 18 years performed at Wiener Staatsoper in "La fille du régiment")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Disease 6 October 2018 (Gallbladder infection, age 85)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Biography 'Casta Diva' by Robert Pullen and Stephen Taylor begins with:

Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepcion Caballe i Folch was born in Barcelona on 12 April 1933, at nine o'clock at night in the Calle d'Igualada[..]. The baby barely survived; the labour, which was long and difficult, took place in the family home, without the advantages conferred by modem medicine. Worse, the infant was born with the umbilical cord wound tightly around her neck, her head changing colour alarmingly as she was effectively being slowly strangled.

(pdf copy received 4-feb-2012 from G. Sargia)


  • Traits : Body : Weight (Heavy set)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : High Blood Pressure
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Stroke
  • Diagnoses : Body Part Problems : Other body problems (Gallbladder infection, terminal)
  • Family : Childhood : Family supportive
  • Family : Relationship : Marriage more than 15 Yrs (Since 1964)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (One)
  • Family : Parenting : Extraordinarily nurturing
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (One boy, one girl)
  • Personal : Birth : Difficult birth (Cord wrapped around neck)
  • Personal : Death : Illness/ Disease (Gallbladder infection)
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs (Age 85)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/Opera (Soprano)