Montserrat Caballé (1933–2018)

The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of Montserrat Caballé, one of the great sopranos of the 20th century. At the Met, Caballé dazzled audiences with her extraordinary vocalism in 15 roles and 98 performances. She made her Met debut in 1965 as Marguerite in Faust in the final season of the old opera house. At the new Met, she quickly became a phenomenon, winning raves in the inaugural 1966–67 season of the new house for her stunning portrayals of two Verdi heroines, Leonora in Il Trovatore and Desdemona in Otello. Over her Met career, she starred in two opening nights, as Violetta in La Traviata in 1967 and in the title role of Tosca in 1985, and sang leading roles in two new productions, Luisa Miller in 1968 and I Vespri Siciliani in 1974. The velvet plushness of her voice and her almost superhuman ability to float soft high notes made her an audience favorite and today are legendary thanks to her many recordings and broadcasts. Caballé’s final Met performance was in 1985 (as Tosca), but her extraordinary talent will never be forgotten by those fortunate enough to have heard her live or through recordings. We offer our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, and many admirers.

Top photo: Caballé in the title role of Norma (1973)

Caballé as Leonora in Il Trovatore (1967)

Caballé in the title role of Luisa Miller (1968)

Caballé as Elena in I Vespri Siciliani (1974)