Montserrat Caballé, Spanish soprano who won a new generation of fans after singing Barcelona with Freddie Mercury, has died at the age of 85. The singer had a stroke in 2012 and had been admitted last month for a gall bladder problem.
Caballé was born into a working class family in Barcelona. Her musical talents became apparent early on – she was singing Bach cantatas at the age of seven.
The singer achieved international acclaim in 1965 when she stepped in for another performer in the notoriously difficult role of Lucrezia Borgia in Donizetti’s opera in New York. Her debut went down in opera history as one of the greatest overnight successes and she went on to tour the world in a career that spanned half a century, starring in 90 opera roles and giving almost 4,000 performances.