Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballe dead at 85

Irene MckinneyOct 07, 2018

The 85-year-old diva was admitted to the Hospital Sant Pau since late last month, to receive help for a chronic gallbladder issue.

It is believed she was suffering from a gall bladder problem.

However, spokesman Abraham del Moral said the singer's family had requested her cause of death not be released.

In a brief excursion into pop music, Caballe's duet "Barcelona" with Freddie Mercury, of the rock group Queen, was a hit single in 1987, accompanied by an album of the same name.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has paid tribute, saying: "A great ambassador of our country has died".

"Montserrat Caballe, her voice and her tenderness, will always stay with us", he added.

"Her loss leaves a huge void", he said.

Spain opera star Montserrat Caballe died overnight at the Sant Pau hospital.

Her big break came in 1965 when she stepped in for another singer in the notoriously hard role of Lucrezia Borgia in Donizetti's opera in NY.

Her voice was noted for its purity, precise control and power using superb technique and vocal shadings, as well as pianissimos, which were inspired by Spanish operatic tenor Miguel Fleta.

During her career she was awarded several national and global awards.

She produced a highly-acclaimed performance as Elisabetta of Valois in an all-star cast of Verdi's "Don Carlo" at the Arena di Verona in 1969.

In 2015, at a time when Spain was cracking down on tax evasion as it attempted to rein in a large public deficit during a prolonged economic crisis, Caballe agreed to a fine of 250,000 euros and a symbolic six-month jail term.

Her success led to her debut that same year at the Metropolitan Opera, as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust.

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