Here is a Spanish song from the zarzuelas ("Pensar en él" [Marina]), performed by one of the greatest sopranos, Montserrat Caballé.
Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folc, better known as Montserrat Caballé (born in 1933), is a Catalan Spanish operatic soprano renowned for her bel canto technique and her interpretations of the roles of Rossini, Bellini, and Donizetti. Caballé was born in Barcelona. After studying music at the Liceu Conservatory and singing technique under Eugenia Kemmeny teaching, she was awarded with the gold medal; then she joined the Basel Opera in 1956, where she made her professional operatic debut in 1957 as Mimi in La Bohème. For the 1960–61 season, she was engaged by the Bremen Opera, where she developed the foundations of her wide repertoire. In 1962 Caballé returned to Barcelona and made her debut at the Liceu, singing the title-role in Richard Strauss' Arabella. Caballé's international breakthrough came in 1965 when she substituted for an indisposed Marilyn Horne in a semi-staged performance of Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia at New York's Carnegie Hall. While she had to learn the role in less than one month, and considering this was her first engagement in a bel canto score, her performance created a sensation and made her famous throughout the opera world. The day after the New York Times quoted "Callas + Tebaldi = Caballé". Later that year, Caballé made her debut at Glyndebourne singing her first Rosenkavalier and at the Metropolitan Opera as Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. In December 1965 she also returned at Carnegie Hall for her second bel canto opera, singing the tremendous part of Queen Elizabeth I in Donizetti's recently rediscovered Roberto Devereux. In 1966 she made her debut at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Trovatore (and Pirata in 1967) and in 1969 she produced an astonishing performance as Elisabetta of Valois in an all-star cast at the Arena di Verona; in these performances she had to act on crutches because an accident occurred earlier that year in New York City, and her la on the final "ah" at the very end of the opera has become famous, lasting for more than 20 bars up to the final accord from the orchestra, driving mad an audience of more than 10.000. In the same period she also appeared in one of the most remarkable recitals of her career at the Teatro Corallo, also in Verona. In 1970, she made her delayed "official" La Scala debut in Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia and in 1972 her Covent Garden debut as Violetta in Verdi's La traviata. 1974 was probably the year when Caballé reached her peak, with a number of astonishing performances: Aida at Liceu in January, Vespri at the Met in March, Parisina d'Este at Carnegie Hall in March, 3 Normas in one week at the Bolshoi in Moscow with La Scala, Adriana Lecouvreur in April, Norma in Orange in July, the recording of Aida under Muti in July and the Duets recording with Giuseppe di Stefano in August.
In September she underwent major surgery. She recovered quite well and was again on stage for Norma in early 1975. Although best known for her bel canto roles, Caballé eventually sang over eighty operatic roles, from baroque opera to Verdi, Wagner, and Puccini, including the Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and the title role in Salome. Caballé is also a noted recitalist, particularly of songs of her native Spain.
Her voice is noted for its purity, precise control, and power. She is admired especially for her superb technique, vocal shadings, and exquisite pianissimos. Caballé does not appear to have retired from the stage. She continues to assume new roles: in 2002, Catherine of Aragon in Saint-Saëns's Henri VIII; in 2004, the title role in Massenet's Cléopâtre, both at the Liceu. At the age of 73 (2006), she still maintains a busy schedule of recitals and concerts, mainly in Germany. She is due to appear as The Duchess of Crackentorp in La fille du régiment at the Vienna State Opera in 2007. Her daughter, Montserrat Martí, is also a soprano and the two occasionally perform together.
Enjoy Montserrat's superb voice and virtuosity!