La Boheme  (Segerstam;  Caballe, Corelli, Niska, Cossa)    (2-Living Stage 4035166)
Item# OP1042
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Product Description

La Boheme  (Segerstam;  Caballe, Corelli, Niska, Cossa)    (2-Living Stage 4035166)
OP1042. LA BOHEME, Live Performance, 16 Feb., 1974, w.Segerstam Cond. Met Opera Ensemble; Montserrat Caball�, Franco Corelli, Maralin Niska, Dominic Cossa, etc. (Slovenia) 2-Living Stage 4035166. Long out-of-print, final copies! - 3830257451662

CRITIC REVIEWS:

�Montserrat Caball�'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 Concepci�n Caball� 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. Caball� then made her professional d�but 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 Mim� in Puccini's LA BOH�ME. Her unqualified success in that part led to promotion to starring roles, including Pamina, Tosca, A�da, 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, Dvor�k's Armida and Rusalka, and Marie in Berg's WOZZECK. She d�buted at La Scala in 1960 as a Flower Maiden in PARSIFAL. She sang in M�xico 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. Caball�'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 Jos� Carreras made his London d�but, and after that she helped advance his career. She made her Metropolitan Opera d�but in 1965 as Marguerite in FAUST.

Caball�'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 CRISTOB�L COL�N in Barcelona in 1989).

Caball� 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 Bernab� Marti. They have two children, Bernab� Marti, Jr. and Montserrat Marti, who is herself a succesful soprano. In 1997, Caball� co-founded an important annual vocal competition in the Principality of Andorra, the Concurs Internacional de Cant Montserrat Caball�. She conducts master classes in conjunction with that competition.�



"After me, there is only Caballé."

- Zinka Milanov, as quoted in Leonardo A. Ciampa's THE TWILIGHT OF BELCANTO, p.82





“Franco Corelli had been singing for well over a decade when he made his Met debut in 1961 at the age of 40. The first attraction in any Corelli performance is the voice itself. Solid and evenly produced from bottom to top, with no audible seams between registers. The middle and lower parts of the voice are dark and richly colored. The top is stunningly brilliant, and never thins out or turns hard. It is a once-in-a-generation kind of voice if your generation is lucky, and in the four decades since his retirement in 1976 we have had nothing like it for visceral power. Some critics complained because Corelli would hold high notes well beyond their value in the score. But if we listen to singers from the past whose careers overlapped with the great Italian opera composers, and who often worked with them, we can easily conclude that the composers expected it. (A recording of an aria from Francesco Cilea’s ADRIANA LECOUVREUR by tenor Fernando de Lucia, with the composer accompanying at the piano, exposes liberties that go far beyond anything Corelli ever did, and Cilea echoes those ‘distortions’ at the keyboard.)”

- Henry Fogel, FANFARE