Very sad news: international soprano dies at 69

Very sad news: international soprano dies at 69


norman lebrecht

November 23, 2011

An email from Spain informs me of the death of Montserrat Figueras, wife of Jordi Savall and voice of their influential early music ensemble, Hespèrion XXI, which they founded in Switzerland in 1974.

She and the group were pioneers in exploring the multicultural foundations of medieval and renaissance music in Europe. Of late, they issued lavish recordings of Mediterranean music. Her daughter Arianna and son Feran also performed with the ensemble.

Earlier this year, Montserrat became one of only 29 people to receive the Cross of San Jordi from the government of her native Calaonia. She will be sorely missed. The letter announcing her death follows below. The funeral is on Friday.

MONTSERRAT FIGUERAS décorée de la Croix de Sant Jordi par la Generalitat de Catalunya








Dear friends,

With deep sadness we are writing to inform you that after a year struggling, our loved Montserrat left us last night. Her voice, her humanity and her spiritual brightness will be with us forever.
Those who would like to say farewell to her, will be wellcomed today at our home in Bellaterra (Av. Balmes, 4) from 16 to 21 h and tomorrow from 10 to 15 h.
The funeral will be on friday at 10. We will confirm the place by tomorrow morning.

Thank you for your comfort.

Jordi, Arianna and Ferran


Here is a video clip of her singing Dal mio Permesso in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.


  • Connie Grisham says:

    This news is makes me very sad. The whole world of music will miss this tremendously talented woman. Please accept my sympathy.

    • Connie Grisham says:

      This news makes me very sad. The whole world of music will miss this tremendously talented woman. Please accept my sympathy.

  • Craig Buddle says:

    This has made me cry. Such a beautiful voice silenced. Thank you Montserrat for all the music that will live on.

  • Joel Cohen says:

    Very sad to receive this news.

  • Paulo Pereira says:

    What a terrible new…… I started to listen to Early Music with Savall and Montserrat… I talked with her a couple of times… I have a book signed by her… I don’t believe……

  • Michael Malloy says:

    I am more deeply saddened than I can say. She was a great influence for all who love Early Music. I offer profound sympathy for Jordi, Arianna and Ferran.

  • Gabriella says:

    Very sad! I love some songs she recorded: “Folle è ben che si crede,” “Guaracha: Ay Que Me Abraso,” “No Piense Menguilla,” “Su la cetra amorosa,” and “Un bambin che va all a scola.” When I first discovered them I could listen to nothing else for weeks. Thank you, Montserrat! My thoughts are with her family — I heard her husband and daughter (I don’t think MF was there) in New York in the fall of 2008. It was a wonderful concert, with commentary by Savall. Afterwards he signed our CDs; he was friendly and seemed genuinely interested in us, so now I take her death a little personally.

  • Ian Braithwaite says:

    Montserrat Figueras had the most flexible, beautiful and enchanting voice I have ever heard. If only one could bring comfort to the family in proportion to the delight she has given us.

  • Simon Watney says:

    She was an artist and a woman of the greatest nobility. She enriched my life more than words can begin to say.

  • Michael Smith says:

    Very sorry to hear of the loss of this great artist.

  • Henk de Wit says:

    Sadness,all over. But what a inheritance. THANK YOU.

  • paul hodge says:

    One only had to hear her voice to recognise it immediately. Members of London audiences at Savall/ Figueras concerts over many years were all just a little bit in love with her and very much in love with her talent and artistry. My condolences to Jordi Savall and the family over their loss..

  • Michael White says:

    I hoped to see her in concert even if I had to travel from Australia.My gratitude for the beautiful music and sympathy to that lovely family.