Placido Domingo mourns Montserrat Caballé

Placido Domingo mourns Montserrat Caballé


norman lebrecht

October 07, 2018

His message:

My dear Monserrat what an amazing life and career you’ve had. Thank you for your amazing voice and the innumerable moments of joy you haven given the world with it. I will always treasure our many performances together and the numerous recordings we made throughout the years. What a privilege to have shared the stage with you. You will be missed. Rest In Peace 🙏💔 God has called another angel to his reign. Always … Plácido



  • Caravaggio says:

    Except she was no angel. A tax cheat, yes, abusing her privilege, fame and status to (almost) get away with murder, something the vast majority of us are unable and incapable of if we tried. Kudos to the Spanish authorities for not letting her get away with her scheme. They certainly didn’t let the King’s brother in law run away with criminal corruption. Would that that be the case in the USA and other parts. Musically speaking, the lady got away with too much nonsense and crudity once past her sell by date, for too long. Few artists could get away with such antics, abuse and lack of respect for the music and the public before her. That the public forgave her so much is an argument for another day. Anywhow, rest in peace and all that. And yes, in her prime and when in good behavior she was quite something to behold.

    • Escamillo says:

      And we know what Caravaggio did – killed a young man in 1606. Monserrat on the other hand had one of the most beautiful voices, ever. May she rest in peace.

    • Fcd says:

      There is a lot of ignorance in this post. Suggesting that she would have been done in for tax evasion? Does this person know that a celebrity tax cheat is president. Yeah, she got away with some musical excesses, but so did Tucker, Gobbi, di Stefano, Callas, Pavarotti…and so do Fleming, Kaufmann, etc. This is opera, baby.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      I hope you choke on your own bile one of these days, you nasty, angry, individual, whoever you are. I realize, of course, I am feeding the troll.
      A beautiful, moving tribute from the great Placido Domingo which I am sure will be echoed by colleagues around the world and will make Caravaggio spew even more venom, but hopefully, his squeak will not be heard beyond this far too permissive blog.
      I think SD really needs a moderator.

    • Joubert Francois says:

      Do you feel better now, troll?

    • Stefano says:

      You’re either a frustrated singer, or a bitter old queen, either way you’re an idiot. Caballé was a consumet artist and musician. She could sightread anything. She was extremely talented and possessed one of the most expressive, beautiful sounding voices to ever grace the operatic stage. I worked with this beautiful soul, and while she had a wicked sense of humor she also had a heart of gold.

    • Charles says:

      I am huge admirer of Caballé. I do think it was a great shame that she felt it was ok to evade her taxes.

    • adrienne renfro says:

      Wow! You must be a very unhappy peson. It’s so sad that you used your comment to attempt to defame someone in their death. Whether or not she committed acts of crime, God will be her judge not you!

    • Z Wheeler says:

      A tax cheat? That is what you have to say? What kind of human being are you? This is not the time or the place. Grow up.

    • George says:

      I sometimes think „Caravaggio“ is Norman being provocative to get more clicks 😉

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    What a nice thing for Don Domingo to say. She had a beautiful voice and I treasure my cd’s.

    There are some gentlemen left although few and far between as you can see from the nasty message above. Who did she try and murder, hopefully her family will not read this nastiness?
    If you don’t have anything positive to say don’t post, she’s gone and unable to reply to trolls.

  • Robin Worth says:

    I lived in Barcelona 1975-1980 and saw her often at the Liceo
    She had kids at school locally and it was her home town, where she was never the diva and always the natural Catalan girl (Montse,Montse com tu cantes the audience once chanted , with banners to match the slogan, in 1976 and made her cry with happiness) Yes, she may have used the prompter more than some, but you would have forgiven more than that if you had heard her sing Gemma di Vergy, which she rescued from obscurity

    She only partnered Domingo once (in La Africana) during that period, but appeared several times with Jaume Aragall, another Catalan and of rather a nervous temperament. But not with her. To hear them together was wonderful and occasionally sublime

    Did the ROH use her talent to the full? Il viaggio a Reims was maybe not something to remember her by

    • Lord Sydney says:

      Indeed not. Or at least for the wrong reasons! The notorious apple throwing incident (from the stage into the pit where conductor Carlo Rizzi failed to catch it) almost caused an orchestra walk-out! And it was perhaps unwise of her to read out the ROH management’s letter of admonition at the next performance, prompting groans from the audience and cries of ‘Get on with it’ from several frustrated punters!

    • Olassus says:

      No mention of José Carreras?

  • Bruce says:

    Caravaggio’s comment reminds me of two things:

    1. The experience many of us have had of hearing a child in a store say loudly, “Mommy! That lady is really fat!” …and in response to the mortified mother’s whispered reprimand: “But she is really fat!” In the child’s mind, the truth of the statement is more important than how it might make the person feel (not relevant in this post) or how it might make them look to others (relevant, although possibly not to Caravaggio).

    2. I read an article awhile back about adults on the autism spectrum who had undergone training (I guess you could call it therapy) as adolescents to help them recognize the nonverbal cues that others might be giving them, e.g. smiling or frowning, eyes getting wider, backing away, etc. One of the people interviewed said he remembered thinking the whole idea that people use their faces & bodies to express feelings was ridiculous. Once he learned that it is in fact true, he became interested in learning more about it and his interactions with other people became easier.

    In both cases, the person is not purposely violating the rules of civilized society, they just haven’t learned/ internalized them yet. (Sometimes people, it seems, learn them but don’t internalize them. Ahem.) The people in my examples were children, or young people with mental disorders, who can be forgiven for not understanding the rules yet. At some point, however, a person becomes an adult and has to accept responsibility for the things s/he does and says, willingly or not. Some maintain an attitude of “I don’t care what anybody thinks, I’ll say whatever I want,” which may seem to them to indicate admirable independence of mind but in fact indicates a profound lack of connection to other human beings (a lack of which the person is usually unaware).

    Just my observations.

    • Ms.Melody says:

      I think it is very kind of you to invoke “insanity defense”. We must give everyone the benefit of the doubt.Poor person just can’t help being tactless, insensitive or downright mean (Applies to Autism spectrum disorders). I think Cara enjoys being an enfant terrible of SD. Some of his comments are actually true and fun to read, especially when he bemoans the ever eroding vocal standards of today’s biggest operatic venues. But there has to be a limit. And IMHO maligning a just departed great artist crosses the line.

      • Bruce says:


        I actually agree with your earlier comment (I wouldn’t mourn if Caravaggio choked on his own bile and died alone, and he seems to be well on the path to doing just that), but didn’t see much point in simply “feeding the troll” that way.

        I also disagree with his verdict on the current state of singing: there have always been precious few really great singers, and it’s easy to look back and imagine every tenor of the 1950’s was a Bergonzi or a di Stefano. There have always been multitudes of “no more great voices” complainers. In the 50’s they were probably bemoaning the lack of a Caruso or whoever, and confidently predicting that nobody currently singing would be remembered in a few years. This is a low-risk position to take, since if a singer is indeed remembered, you can always attribute it to a decline in audience taste and refinement, just as you can if they continue singing past the point you have decided was their prime.

        I’d also be willing to bet 5 thousand imaginary dollars that Caravaggio doesn’t actually give a shit about Caballé’s tax evasion (or whatever it was). (I wonder if he thinks of Birgit Nilsson as an “important voice” and what he thinks of the tax shenanigans that kept her out of the US for many years… actually, never mind: no I don’t.)

        • Ms.Melody says:

          Bruce, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I stand by my original comment.
          However, the standards are declining. In the 50 s it seemed there was an embarrassment of operatic vocal talent. The freshest example that springs immediately to mind is yesterday’s broadcast of Aida from the MET. While the 2 ladies were excellent, the tenor was clearly not up to the task from the very beginning.
          Anyone can have a bad day, but he has not sung well from the opening night of Aida and in multiple live broadcasts over the Met channel afterwards.
          The fact that he was not replaced and at the end applauded ,tells me that the expectations are much lower now. There are many potentially great voices and many talented young singers, but somehow they don’t come to greatness. I think in today’s climate they are afraid to say” No” to parts that are not suitable or are offered too early ,and are ruining their voices. Can you really see any of today’s “stars” singing into their seventies, like Devia, Pierce, Kraus, etc?

          • Bruce says:

            I think what’s happened is not so much that singing has gotten bad, but good singing no longer matters (or not as much). What matters now is looks, physical fitness, and (I guess) acting.

            Joan Sutherland said “if you want to see acting, go to a play.” She sang very well for a much longer time than coloraturas usually manage. Caballé was pretty much of the same persuasion, as were Tebaldi, Price, et al: the emotional content of the music came through the music, not through facial expressions with minimal changes of sound. There may be singers out there who are capable of this kind of singing (I hope there are), but we will never be allowed to hear them if they are overweight or over the age of 26.

            As for today’s “stars,” I don’t know. I’m honestly not paying enough attention to complain. Caravaggio may be right; but if he is, he also sounds exactly like all the grumblers from the last 200 years of operagoing. At this point I can’t muster up enough interest in anything he says to bother engaging with him.

  • YS says:

    Montserrat Caballe has been a woman and an artist who has brought so much admiration and joy to other peoples life. To the contrary, what does a nasty comment by som Caravaggio mean? No one really cares and the lowest level he reaches with his post will come back to him like a bumerang…. Nobody is perfect and at least, most of all one day after her death! and having read Mr. Domingos wonderful and touching words, keeping your mouth shut would have shown humanity and respect….

  • YS says:

    Normally, in a democrathy, nearly any comment should be able to be shown.

    But in this particular case, the yesterday deceased Mrs Caballe deserves respect as a human being and artist..

    If I would be responsible here, I would have deleted Caravaggios text in order to respect her in general

  • Claudia says:

    How many of you actually believe that a public persona, such as the Great Caballe, sits down and fills out her tax return? Do you really believe that she is–between public appearances–says to the accountant, “Jaime, omit this, add this, cheat on this…”. How naive can you be? This lady was a person for the ages!