BARCELONA (Rahnuma) : 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.