Opera star Montserrat Caballe laid to rest in Barcelona

Spanish opera diva Montserrat Caballe was renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti. (Reuters)
Updated 09 October 2018
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Opera star Montserrat Caballe laid to rest in Barcelona

  • Hailed as one of the greatest singers for her vocal virtuosity and dramatic powers, Caballe charmed audiences for half a century with a huge repertoire
  • She was propelled into the mainstream when her duet with Freddie Mercury, a boundary-busting combination of opera and rock, became the anthem for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona

BARCELONA: Spain’s world-famous opera singer Montserrat Caballe was laid to rest on Monday at a funeral in Barcelona where tenor Jose Carreras hailed her as “the greatest soprano of the 20th century.”
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Catalonia’s separatist president Quim Torra also said their goodbyes to Caballe, who died on Saturday aged 85.
Hailed as one of the greatest singers for her vocal virtuosity and dramatic powers, Caballe charmed audiences for half a century with a huge repertoire that saw her perform across the globe.
Nicknamed “la superba” in her native Spain, she was propelled into the mainstream when her duet with Freddie Mercury, a boundary-busting combination of opera and rock, became the anthem for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
“For me, Montserrat was the greatest soprano in the 20th century,” Carreras told reporters.
“The only person who could get close was Maria Callas.”
Greek composer Vangelis, with whom Caballe collaborated, sent a wreath with the message: “For the one and only Montserrat Caballe.”
Born in April 1933 to a humble Barcelona family, Caballe was buried next to her parents in the city’s Sant Andreu cemetery in a northern working-class district.


Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

Music artist 'Alexis.' (Supplied)
Updated 19 February 2019
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Life lessons from inspirational women — Alexis

  • UAE-based singer-songwriter, Alexis just released her album “This Is Me”
  • She talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

DUBAI: The UAE-based singer-songwriter, who just released her album “This Is Me,” talks tolerance, proving yourself, and the power of words

I’m very demanding of myself, which is a contradiction, because I’m so understanding and accepting of the weaknesses of other people, but I’m not that kind to myself. But I don’t mind laughing at myself either.

 

I’ve been guilty, earlier in my career, of trying to force situations. Sometimes pushing is good, but allowing things to happen in their own time is also a valuable skill. It’s not necessarily about the destination; it’s the journey. And if you can allow yourself to enjoy the journey, you’ll get there eventually — perhaps in a better condition.

 

My father encouraged me to be an individual thinker. He’s a man who has roots in a very conservative, male-driven culture, but he was raised by a woman who wasn’t afraid to break the mold. He advised me that because of what I look like, and being a woman, I would always need to be more than just adequately prepared: “If you’re required to know two things for a job, when you walk in there you need to know four or six things.”

 

I know it’s probably just something parents tell their kids to help them get through difficult situations, but I think that “Sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you” thing is such nonsense. Words can hurt. They can cause incredible damage. It’s important for us to realize the impact of what we say, how we say it, and to whom. Words have power.

 

I handled my own business from the very beginning, so I found myself at 18 going into meetings with executives who were in their 40s and 50s. And of course I was a child to them. So having them look beyond the physical thing and realize that I was very serious about my work and knew what I was talking about was a challenge. It’s easy to see me as a fashion horse. It’s harder to see that I’m a worker. Get past the window dressing and I’ve got quality merchandise. But I survived life with older brothers. I think I can tackle anything at this point.

 

Men and women are equally capable, but in different ways. It’s a bit of a generalization, but we have to accept that different people have different methodologies.