OP0141. Ernani, Broadcast Performance, 25 March, 1969, w.Gavazzeni Cond. RAI Ensemble, Milano; Montserrat Caballé, Bruno Prevedi, Peter Glossop, Boris Christoff, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 4035154. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 3830025742053
"Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone. That all too familiar thought may very well leap to mind as you listen to this RAI Milan ERNANI from 1969. The cast, almost golden age by today’s standards, was fairly routine then."
- Lee Milazzo, AMERICAN RECORD GUIDE, Jan./Feb.., 2003
“Montserrat Caballé's career, which began with a legendary lucky break, would eventually make her one of Spain's greatest sopranos -- equaled in status and reputation only by her fellow Barcelonian, Victoria de los Angeles.
Her full birth name is Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folch. She is named after the famous Catalan monastery of Montserrat. It is said that her parents feared that they would lose her and vowed that if she were born alive and well they would christen her with the monastery's name.
She learned singing at her convent school; at the age of eight, she entered the Conservatorio del Liceo in Barcelona. Her most important teachers were Eugenia Kenny, Conchita Badea, and Napoleone Annovazzi. When she graduated in 1954, she won the Liceo's Gold Medal. Caballé then made her professional début in Madrid in the oratorio EL PESEBRE (The Manger) by the great Catalan cellist Pau (Pablo) Casals. She then went to Italy, where she received a few minor roles at various houses. In 1956, she joined the Basel Opera; she was working her way through the smaller roles when one of the principal singers took ill and she took over the role of Mimě in Puccini's LA BOHÉME. Her unqualified success in that part led to promotion to starring roles, including Pamina, Tosca, Aďda, Marta in Eugene d'Albert's TIEFLAND, and the Richard Strauss roles of Arabella, Chrysothemis (ELEKTRA), and Salome.
She steadily gained a European reputation, singing in Bremen, Milan, Vienna, Barcelona, and Lisbon, taking such diverse roles as Violetta, Tatiana, Dvorák's Armida and Rusalka, and Marie in Berg's WOZZECK. She débuted at La Scala in 1960 as a Flower Maiden in PARSIFAL. She sang in México City in 1964 as Massenet's Manon.
On 20 April, 1965, on extremely short notice, she substituted for the indisposed Marilyn Horne in a concert performance in Donizetti's LUCREZIA BORGIA, achieving a thunderous success and ‘overnight’ super-stardom. She became one of the leading figures in the revival of interest in the bel canto operas of Bellini and Donizetti, many of which were staged especially for her. Caballé's performances as Elizabeth I (ROBERTO DEVEREAUX) and that monarch's rival Mary Queen of Scots (MARIA STUARDA) are legendary. In 1971, she sang a memorable concert performance of MARIA STUARDA in which her fellow Barcelonian José Carreras made his London début, and after that she helped advance his career. She made her Metropolitan Opera début in 1965 as Marguerite in FAUST.
Caballé's career has centered around Verdi's important dramatic roles, but has also embraced the Marschallin (ROSENKAVALIER), the Countess (NOZZE), and Queen Isabella (in the premiere of Leonardo Balada's CRISTOBÁL COLÓN in Barcelona in 1989).
Caballé has had unusual crossover success. In addition to singing on two tracks on an album by New Age composer Vangelis, she is famous for collaborating with the late Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen, who wrote ‘Exercises in Free Love’ for her. She appeared on his hit album ‘Barcelona’. That album and its primary single rose high on the pop charts.
In 1964, she married Spanish tenor Bernabé Marti. They have two children, Bernabé Marti, Jr. and Montserrat Marti, who is herself a succesful soprano. In 1997, Caballé co-founded an important annual vocal competition in the Principality of Andorra, the Concurs Internacional de Cant Montserrat Caballé. She conducts master classes in conjunction with that competition.”
- Joseph Stevenson, allmusic.com
“After me, there is only Caballé.”
- Zinka Milanov, as quoted in Leonardo A. Ciampa’s THE TWILIGHT OF BELCANTO, p.82
“Bruno Prevedi was an Italian tenor, particularly associated with the Italian repertory. Prevedi studied in Mantua with Alberto Sorenisa, and in Milan with Vladimiro Badiali. He made his début as a baritone in 1958, as Tonio, but quickly retrained himself as a tenor, and made a second début in 1959, as Turiddu, again at the Teatro Nuovo in Milan.
He sang widely in Italy, and made his début at La Scala in 1962, in Pizzetti's DEBORA E JAELE. He also appeared in Berlin, Munich, Vienna, Budapest, London and Buenos Aires. He sang the role of Pollione in NORMA in the Gran Teatro del Liceo in Barcelona during the winter season 1962-1963, then made his Metropolitan Opera début on 6 March, 1965 as Cavaradossi in TOSCA. During the following five seasons his roles included Alfredo, Manrico, Riccardo, Alvaro, Don Carlo, and Radamčs.
Bruno Prevedi possessed an attractive spinto tenor voice with superb roundness at the top. He can be heard on a number of recordings for Decca, notably in complete performances of Verdi's NABUCCO, opposite Tito Gobbi and Elena Suliotis, in MACBETH, opposite Giuseppe Taddei and Birgit Nilsson, and MEDEA, opposite Gwyneth Jones, as well as a recital of tenor arias.”
-Z. D. Akron