The Latest: Queen guitarist calls Caballe ‘inspiration’

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the death of opera singer Montserrat Caballe (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

The guitarist for rock group Queen has expressed his condolences for the death of Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballe, saying she was an “inspiration” to group leader Freddie Mercury.

Queen guitarist Brian May has written on Instagram that Caballe was an “inspiration to us all but especially to Freddie. Your beautiful voice will be with us forever.” The message accompanied a photo of Caballe and Mercury performing together.

Caballe and Mercury’s duet “Barcelona” was a hit single in 1987 and later became the anthem of the 1992 Summer Olympics in the city.

Caballe performed the song live, accompanied by a recording of the late Mercury, at the 1999 UEFA Champions League soccer final in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.

Caballe died on Saturday at age 85.


11:30 a.m.

Tenor Jose Carreras says that the world of opera has lost its “best soprano” with the death of fellow Spaniard Montserrat Caballe.

Carreras has told Catalunya Radio that “of all the sopranos that I have heard live, I have never heard anyone like Montserrat.”

Carreras, who like Caballe is from Barcelona, praised her “versatility,” saying “she could do everything from the purest bel canto all the way to Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde.'”

Caballe died in a Barcelona hospital on Saturday at age 85.


10:45 a.m.

King Felipe VI has expressed his condolences for the death of Montserrat Caballe, calling the Spanish opera singer “a legend of universal culture.”

The king’s official Twitter account said that Caballe was “the great lady of opera, legend of universal culture, the best of the best.”

The tweet adds that “her personality and unequaled voice will accompany us forever.”

Caballe died in a Barcelona hospital on Saturday at age 85.


9:30 a.m.

Montserrat Caballe, a Spanish opera singer renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti, has died. She was 85.

Hospital Sant Pau spokesman Abraham del Moral confirmed her death early Saturday to The Associated Press. Del Moral says that Caballe’s family requested the cause of death not be released while saying that she had been in the hospital since September.

Spanish media said that Caballe entered the Barcelona hospital in September because of a gall bladder problem.

Born into a working class family in Barcelona, Caballe unveiled her musical talents early, singing Bach cantatas at the age of 7.

In her almost unlimited repertoire, she starred in 90 opera roles with nearly 4,000 stage performances.

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