OP2645. IL TROVATORE, Live Performance, 14 & 16 March, 1968 (also incl. a bonus disc featuring Elinor Ross & Gabriella Tucci of highlights from LUCIA, ANDREA CHENIER & TOSCA ), w.Knud Andersson Cond. New Orleans Opera Ensemble; Montserrat Caballé, Placido Domingo, Enzo Sordello, Ruza Pospinov, etc. 3-VAI 1274. - 089948127420
“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
"...what I most remember is the initial sound of Domingo's voice as it softly pervaded the huge [Met] auditorium. Its dulcet caress was transporting!"
- Paul Jackson, START-UP AT THE NEW MET, p.409
"As might be predicted, Domingo has amazing virtuosity and endurance even in the most taxing roles....his is an amazing achievement. We shall not see or hear his like again in many a moon."
- Alan Blyth, GRAMOPHONE, Oct., 2007
“Enzo Sordello born in Pievebovigliana, he went on to study at the Conservatorio Giuseppe Verdi in Turin and privately with Carlo Tagliabue. In 1952, he won the International Competition organized by the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, and began appearing there in small roles. He first won recognition when he sang the role of Cinno in Spontini's LA VESTALE, opposite Maria Callas, in a production by Luchino Visconti. This led to his Metropolitan Opera début in 1956, as Marcello in LA BOHČME, followed by Malatesta in DON PASQUALE. He also sang Enrico in LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, opposite Maria Callas who had him fired after the performance for holding a note longer than hers.
He went on singing at most of the major opera houses of the world, notably, the Vienna State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Teatro Colón, as well as at the Glyndebourne Festival and Bregenz Festival. His sang in a wide variety of roles of the Italian and French repertoire, from baroque to contemporary works, but with a particular predilection for Figaro in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and the title-role in RIGOLETTO.
In 1961, he sang Fillipo in BEATRICE DI TENDA in a concert version by the American Opera Society in New York City, opposite Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne
Sordello retired from the stage in 1982. He lived in Roccavione where he died on 15 April, 2008.”