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Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018)

Montserrat Caballé in December 1992 Photograph: Geoff Wilkinson/REX/Shutterstock

In 1980 Renata Tebaldi was asked by Lanfranco Rasponi what she thought of the state of singing. Her answer was unequivocal: there is just one prima donna left Montserrat Caballé. And in the same year Magda Olivero, the last of the hell-for-leather verismo sopranos and no mean diva herself, opined that ‘we singers should get down on our knees and thank God for a voice like Caballé’s’. These words prefigure a leitmotif that runs throughout Rasponi’s book (The Last Prima Donnas; Alfred A Knopf: 1975) in which he interviews many of the great divas of the recording era: no matter how lamentable these monstres sacres believe the state of singing has become since they themselves retired from the stage, Caballé is usually cited as an exception to the general decline. So just how special is she?

To start with, her versatility: no diva in memory has sung such an all-encompassing amount of the soprano repertory, progressing through virtually the entire range of Italian light lyric, lirico-spinto and dramatic roles, including all the pinnacles of the bel canto, Verdi and verismo repertories, whilst simultaneously being a remarkable interpreter of Salome, Sieglinde and Isolde. 

….  In 1970 she became well acquainted with Maria Callas, who was by then living in semi-seclusion in Paris. Although they were temperamentally poles apart, at a musical level the two women connected. Certainly Callas seems to have thought so: just days before her death in 1977 she gave her last interview to Philippe Caloni and, when asked if she considered she had any successors, stated ‘Only Caballé’. One wonders what the Greek diva specifically had in mind. By that time she had seen Caballé triumph in the role of Norma and had even gone so far as to send the Spanish soprano the earrings she had been given by Visconti on the occasion of her first La Scala Normas in the 1950s. Evidently she believed the torch was being passed on. 

[excerpted from Reputations: Montserrat Caballe” by Robert Pullen and Stephen J Taylor at Gramophone]


Obituaries



Operas Featured on SiriusXM This Week

ADRIANA LECOUVREUR Cilea 2/11/1978
López-Cobos; Caballé, Carreras, Cossotto, Quilico
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS Strauss 3/20/1976
Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos, Dooley, Titus

I VESPRI SICILIANI Verdi 3/9/1974
Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz

LUISA MILLER Verdi 2/17/1968
Schippers; Caballé, Tucker, Milnes, Tozzi, Flagello, Pearl

NORMA Bellini 2/17/1973
Cillario; Caballé, Cossotto, Cossutta, Tozzi

OTELLO Verdi 3/11/1967
Mehta; Caballé, McCracken, Gobbi, Lorenzi


Oct 15 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
I VESPRI SICILIANI:Verdi Original Air Date: 03/09/1974 Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz MOD Audio SID.18420103 This is a performance where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If Caballe does not have … Continue reading "I VESPRI SICILIANI"
Oct 16 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
ADRIANA LECOUVREUR:Cilea Original Air Date: 02/11/1978 López-Cobos; Caballé, Carreras, Cossotto, Quilico MOD Audio SID.18420208 “I’m not a special fan of Adriana, and like it best when the title role is a specialist like Olivero whom … Continue reading "ADRIANA LECOUVREUR"
Oct 16 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS:Strauss Original Air Date: 03/20/1976 Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos, Dooley, Titus SID.18420209 The star is Troyanos shortly after her debut. Caballe, though not noted as a Straussian pleased many, but it does … Continue reading "ARIADNE AUF NAXOS"
Oct 16 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
LUISA MILLER:Verdi Original Air Date: 02/17/1968 Schippers; Caballé, Tucker, Milnes, Tozzi, Flagello, Pearl MOD Audio SID.18420212 This production brought Luisa Miller into the mainstream repertory. Caballe is caught at close to her very best, Tucker … Continue reading "LUISA MILLER"
Oct 17 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
NORMA:Bellini Original Air Date: 02/17/1973 Cillario; Caballé, Cossotto, Cossutta, Tozzi MOD Audio SID.18420320 This is from Caballe’s first run at Norma with the reliable Cossotto; they are certainly a team. Cossutta missed the premiere, and … Continue reading "NORMA"
Oct 18 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
I VESPRI SICILIANI:Verdi Original Air Date: 03/09/1974 Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz MOD Audio SID.18420422 This is a performance where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If Caballe does not have … Continue reading "I VESPRI SICILIANI"
Oct 18 @ 9:00 pm – 12:00 am
LUISA MILLER:Verdi Original Air Date: 02/17/1968 Schippers; Caballé, Tucker, Milnes, Tozzi, Flagello, Pearl MOD Audio SID.18420428 This production brought Luisa Miller into the mainstream repertory. Caballe is caught at close to her very best, Tucker … Continue reading "LUISA MILLER"
Oct 19 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS:Strauss Original Air Date: 03/20/1976 Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos, Dooley, Titus SID.18420529 The star is Troyanos shortly after her debut. Caballe, though not noted as a Straussian pleased many, but it does … Continue reading "ARIADNE AUF NAXOS"
Oct 19 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
LUISA MILLER:Verdi Original Air Date: 02/17/1968 Schippers; Caballé, Tucker, Milnes, Tozzi, Flagello, Pearl MOD Audio SID.18420531 This production brought Luisa Miller into the mainstream repertory. Caballe is caught at close to her very best, Tucker … Continue reading "LUISA MILLER"
Oct 19 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
NORMA:Bellini Original Air Date: 02/17/1973 Cillario; Caballé, Cossotto, Cossutta, Tozzi MOD Audio SID.18420532 This is from Caballe’s first run at Norma with the reliable Cossotto; they are certainly a team. Cossutta missed the premiere, and … Continue reading "NORMA"
Oct 20 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
I VESPRI SICILIANI:Verdi Original Air Date: 03/09/1974 Levine; Caballé, Gedda, Milnes, Díaz MOD Audio SID.18420639 This is a performance where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. If Caballe does not have … Continue reading "I VESPRI SICILIANI"
Oct 20 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS:Strauss Original Air Date: 03/20/1976 Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos, Dooley, Titus SID.18420748 The star is Troyanos shortly after her debut. Caballe, though not noted as a Straussian pleased many, but it does … Continue reading "ARIADNE AUF NAXOS"
Oct 21 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
NORMA:Bellini Original Air Date: 02/17/1973 Cillario; Caballé, Cossotto, Cossutta, Tozzi MOD Audio SID.18420745 This is from Caballe’s first run at Norma with the reliable Cossotto; they are certainly a team. Cossutta missed the premiere, and … Continue reading "NORMA"
Oct 21 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
ARIADNE AUF NAXOS:Strauss Original Air Date: 03/20/1976 Levine; Caballé, Remedios, Welting, Troyanos, Dooley, Titus SID.18420748 The star is Troyanos shortly after her debut. Caballe, though not noted as a Straussian pleased many, but it does … Continue reading "ARIADNE AUF NAXOS"

Placido Domingo

domingodebutFifty years ago, on September 28, 1968, Plácido Domingo made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur. The company’s 2018–19 season marks the golden anniversary of his debut and in honour of this momentous occasion, Met Opera Radio looks back at some of the tenor’s most unforgettable performances.  With a repertoire spanning more than 50 roles — including Cavaradossi in Tosca, Siegmund in Die Walküre and the towering title role of Otello — Domingo is one of the most beloved artists in opera history.  This five-day celebration will include classics such as Manon Lescaut and Les Contes d’Hoffmann, as well as Domingo’s appearance in the baritone role of Simon Boccanegra.  {siriusxm.ca]

PLACIDO DOMINGO on SIRIUSXM
September 25 – 30th

Feb 15, 1969 – TOSCA : Schick; Nilsson, Domingo, Dooley
Jan 1, 1971 – UN BALLO IN MASCHERA  : Cleva; Domingo, Arroyo, Merrill, Peters, Dunn
Feb 26, 1972 – FAUST  : Rich; Domingo, Zylis-Gara, Tozzi, Sereni, von Stade
Mar 29, 1980 – MANON LESCAUT : Levine; Scotto, Domingo, Elvira, Capecchi
Mar 27, 1982-  CONTES D’HOFFMANN : Chailly; Domingo, Morris, Welting, Troyanos, Eda-Pierre, Howells
Oct 13 ,1995  OTELLO : Levine; Domingo, Fleming, Morris, Croft
April 1, 2000 – DIE WALKUERE  : Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson
Feb 6, 2010 – SIMON BOCCANEGRA : Levine; Domingo, Pieczonka, Giordani, Morris, Gaertner
Mar 29, 2018 – LUISA MILLER : de Billy; Yoncheva, Beczala, Domingo, Vinogradov, Belosselskiy, Petrova

Sep 24 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“FAUST : Gounod Original Air Date: 02/26/1972 Cast: Rich; Domingo, Zylis-Gara, Tozzi, Sereni, von Stade Media: MOD Audio SID.18390103 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo This over-programmed Faust is on again, but there are so many better … Continue reading "FAUST"
Sep 25 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
“LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN : Offenbach Original Air Date: 03/27/1982 Cast: Chailly; Domingo, Morris, Welting, Troyanos, Eda-Pierre, Howells Media: MOD Audio SID.18390208 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo This is Chailly’s only Met appearance, and is the premiere … Continue reading "LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN"
Sep 25 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am
“UN BALLO IN MASCHERA : Verdi Original Air Date: 01/30/1971 Cast: Cleva; Domingo, Arroyo, Merrill, Peters, Dunn Media: SID.18390209 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo, Verdi This is a solid Ballo with early Domingo (he only arrived … Continue reading "UN BALLO IN MASCHERA"
Sep 25 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“LUISA MILLER : Verdi Original Air Date: 03/29/2018 Cast: de Billy; Yoncheva, Beczala, Domingo, Vinogradov, Belosselskiy, Petrova Media: Live Broadcast SID.18390210 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Domingo, Verdi Encore broadcast from 2017-2018 Season. observer.com/2018/04/opera-review-sonya-yoncheva-soars-above-mets-tame-luisa-miller/ www.nytimes.com/2018/04/01/arts/music/review-placido-domingo-met-opera-luisa-miller.html www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/classical-music/the-met-luisa-miller-review www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2018/6/Reviews/NEW_YORK_CITY__Luisa_Miller.html“
Sep 25 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“OTELLO : Verdi Original Air Date: 10/13/1995 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Fleming, Morris, Croft Media: MOD Video SID.18390212 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This performance is also available as a DVD from Deutsche Grammophon. This … Continue reading "OTELLO"
Sep 26 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
“TOSCA : Puccini Original Air Date: 02/15/1969 Cast: Schick; Nilsson, Domingo, Dooley Media: SID.18390315 Tags: Archive; 2018, Nilsson, Domingo, Puccini This is Domingo’s Met broadcast debut. I prefer Nilsson five years earlier in a Met … Continue reading "TOSCA"
Sep 26 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am
“DIE WALKÜRE : Wagner Original Air Date: 04/01/2000 Cast: Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson Media: MOD Audio SID.18390316 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Levine, Domingo RWW: This is also on MOoD and catches some erratic … Continue reading "DIE WALKÜRE"
Sep 26 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“DIE WALKÜRE : Wagner Original Air Date: 04/01/2000 Cast: Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson Media: MOD Audio SID.18390317 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Levine, Domingo RWW: This is also on MOoD and catches some erratic … Continue reading "DIE WALKÜRE"
Sep 26 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“MANON LESCAUT : Puccini Original Air Date: 03/29/1980 Cast: Levine; Scotto, Domingo, Elvira, Capecchi Media: SID.18390319 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Puccini This performance is also available on video in MOoD. As an audio only … Continue reading "MANON LESCAUT"
Sep 27 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
“SIMON BOCCANEGRA : Verdi Original Air Date: 02/06/2010 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Pieczonka, Giordani, Morris, Gaertner Media: SID.18390422 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This is the broadcast that was paired with the Live in HD … Continue reading "SIMON BOCCANEGRA"
Sep 27 @ 6:00 am – 9:00 am
“LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN : Offenbach Original Air Date: 03/27/1982 Cast: Chailly; Domingo, Morris, Welting, Troyanos, Eda-Pierre, Howells Media: MOD Audio SID.18390423 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo This is Chailly’s only Met appearance, and is the premiere … Continue reading "LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN"
Sep 27 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“OTELLO : Verdi Original Air Date: 10/13/1995 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Fleming, Morris, Croft Media: MOD Video SID.18390424 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This performance is also available as a DVD from Deutsche Grammophon. This … Continue reading "OTELLO"
Sep 27 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“FAUST : Gounod Original Air Date: 02/26/1972 Cast: Rich; Domingo, Zylis-Gara, Tozzi, Sereni, von Stade Media: MOD Audio SID.18390426 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo This over-programmed Faust is on again, but there are so many better … Continue reading "FAUST"
Sep 27 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
“SIMON BOCCANEGRA : Verdi Original Air Date: 02/06/2010 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Pieczonka, Giordani, Morris, Gaertner Media: SID.18390427 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This is the broadcast that was paired with the Live in HD … Continue reading "SIMON BOCCANEGRA"
Sep 28 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
“UN BALLO IN MASCHERA : Verdi Original Air Date: 01/30/1971 Cast: Cleva; Domingo, Arroyo, Merrill, Peters, Dunn Media: SID.18390529 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo, Verdi This is a solid Ballo with early Domingo (he only arrived … Continue reading "UN BALLO IN MASCHERA"
Sep 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“TOSCA : Puccini Original Air Date: 02/15/1969 Cast: Schick; Nilsson, Domingo, Dooley Media: SID.18390531 Tags: Archive; 2018, Nilsson, Domingo, Puccini This is Domingo’s Met broadcast debut. I prefer Nilsson five years earlier in a Met … Continue reading "TOSCA"
Sep 28 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
“DIE WALKÜRE : Wagner Original Air Date: 04/01/2000 Cast: Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson Media: MOD Audio SID.18390532 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Levine, Domingo RWW: This is also on MOoD and catches some erratic … Continue reading "DIE WALKÜRE"
Sep 28 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“DIE WALKÜRE : Wagner Original Air Date: 04/01/2000 Cast: Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson Media: MOD Audio SID.18390533 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Levine, Domingo RWW: This is also on MOoD and catches some erratic … Continue reading "DIE WALKÜRE"
Sep 28 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
“LUISA MILLER : Verdi Original Air Date: 03/29/2018 Cast: de Billy; Yoncheva, Beczala, Domingo, Vinogradov, Belosselskiy, Petrova Media: Live Broadcast SID.18390534 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Domingo, Verdi Encore broadcast from 2017-2018 Season. observer.com/2018/04/opera-review-sonya-yoncheva-soars-above-mets-tame-luisa-miller/ www.nytimes.com/2018/04/01/arts/music/review-placido-domingo-met-opera-luisa-miller.html www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/classical-music/the-met-luisa-miller-review www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2018/6/Reviews/NEW_YORK_CITY__Luisa_Miller.html“
Sep 29 @ 12:00 am – 3:00 am
“MANON LESCAUT : Puccini Original Air Date: 03/29/1980 Cast: Levine; Scotto, Domingo, Elvira, Capecchi Media: SID.18390636 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Puccini This performance is also available on video in MOoD. As an audio only … Continue reading "MANON LESCAUT"
Sep 29 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“SIMON BOCCANEGRA : Verdi Original Air Date: 02/06/2010 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Pieczonka, Giordani, Morris, Gaertner Media: SID.18390638 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This is the broadcast that was paired with the Live in HD … Continue reading "SIMON BOCCANEGRA"
Sep 29 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
“LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN : Offenbach Original Air Date: 03/27/1982 Cast: Chailly; Domingo, Morris, Welting, Troyanos, Eda-Pierre, Howells Media: MOD Audio SID.18390639 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo This is Chailly’s only Met appearance, and is the premiere … Continue reading "LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN"
Sep 29 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“UN BALLO IN MASCHERA : Verdi Original Air Date: 01/30/1971 Cast: Cleva; Domingo, Arroyo, Merrill, Peters, Dunn Media: SID.18390640 Tags: Archive; 2018, Domingo, Verdi This is a solid Ballo with early Domingo (he only arrived … Continue reading "UN BALLO IN MASCHERA"
Sep 29 @ 9:00 pm – Sep 30 @ 12:00 am
“OTELLO : Verdi Original Air Date: 10/13/1995 Cast: Levine; Domingo, Fleming, Morris, Croft Media: MOD Video SID.18390642 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Verdi This performance is also available as a DVD from Deutsche Grammophon. This … Continue reading "OTELLO"
Sep 30 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
“MANON LESCAUT : Puccini Original Air Date: 03/29/1980 Cast: Levine; Scotto, Domingo, Elvira, Capecchi Media: SID.18390745 Tags: Archive; 2018, Levine, Domingo, Puccini This performance is also available on video in MOoD. As an audio only … Continue reading "MANON LESCAUT"
Sep 30 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
“LUISA MILLER : Verdi Original Air Date: 03/29/2018 Cast: de Billy; Yoncheva, Beczala, Domingo, Vinogradov, Belosselskiy, Petrova Media: Live Broadcast SID.18390746 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Domingo, Verdi Encore broadcast from 2017-2018 Season. observer.com/2018/04/opera-review-sonya-yoncheva-soars-above-mets-tame-luisa-miller/ www.nytimes.com/2018/04/01/arts/music/review-placido-domingo-met-opera-luisa-miller.html www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/classical-music/the-met-luisa-miller-review www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2018/6/Reviews/NEW_YORK_CITY__Luisa_Miller.html“
Sep 30 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
“TOSCA : Puccini Original Air Date: 02/15/1969 Cast: Schick; Nilsson, Domingo, Dooley Media: SID.18390747 Tags: Archive; 2018, Nilsson, Domingo, Puccini This is Domingo’s Met broadcast debut. I prefer Nilsson five years earlier in a Met … Continue reading "TOSCA"
Sep 30 @ 9:00 pm – Oct 1 @ 12:00 am
“DIE WALKÜRE : Wagner Original Air Date: 04/01/2000 Cast: Levine; Eaglen, Morris, Voigt, Domingo, Schwarz, Halfvarson Media: MOD Audio SID.18390749 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Levine, Domingo RWW: This is also on MOoD and catches some erratic … Continue reading "DIE WALKÜRE"
Nov 23 @ 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
“IL TRITTICO : Puccini Original Air Date: 11/23/2018 Cast: de Billy; Wagner, Blythe, Álvarez, Gagnidze, Muraro, Opolais, McKay, Blythe, Mkhitaryan, Blythe, Ayan, Domingo, Muraro Media: Live Broadcast SID.18470000 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Domingo, Puccini “
Dec 8 @ 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm
“IL TRITTICO : Puccini Original Air Date: 12/08/2018 Cast: de Billy; Wagner, Blythe, Álvarez, Gagnidze, Muraro, Opolais, McKay, Blythe, Mkhitaryan, Blythe, Ayan, Domingo, Muraro Media: Live Broadcast SID.18490000 Tags: LIVE; 2018, Domingo, Puccini “

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