The legendary Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe is known for her beautiful and distinctive tone, her flawless vocal technique, the leading roles she has undertaken--and for her tendency to cancel her engagements. Here, according to two very respectful admirers, is the scoop on everything from her early life through the various facets of her career, her marriage and family life, and the reasons (usually health-related) for all those cancellations. Well-written and accurate, if a trifle worshipful in places, this is probably the definitive biography (complete with lots of photographs) of one of the greatest divas of our time.
From Publishers Weekly
She's a phenomenon, in stamina as well as in talent: as of 1994, the Catalan soprano, who debuted in 1956, performed 3800 times, and at the age of 62 has only minimally slowed her pace (by contrast, Joan Sutherland, another indefatigable diva, is credited with 1800 performances between 1952 and her retirement in 1990). As this statistic suggests, operagoers have not tired of Caballe as Norma, Tosca, Turandot or Semiramide or in her other signature roles, which makes this lackluster authorized biography all the more disappointing. There are no sustained high Bs here, only an endless curriculum vitae to astonish but not engross readers. The few personal anecdotes included are silly, such as the one about Caballe's first kiss with tenor Bernabe Marti, whom she married in 1964. About her overweight, which the authors address at length, we're told that Caballe has glandular problems. Pullen and Taylor, British freelance music historians, may have done a job competent enough for the diva to sign "every page of the finally revised draft," but opera devotees are likely to find it boring. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.