Her international breakthrough came in 1965. She was asked at short notice to learn the title role in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia which was to be given a concert performance in Carnegie Hall. She was utterly unknown, but after her first aria the astounded New York audience gave her an ovation that lasted twenty minutes. As the New York Herald Tribune reported the following day: “No amount of advance publicity could have foretold the extraordinary impact that this stately Goya-esque woman would have on an audience already spoiled by the likes of Callas and Sutherland. When Caballé began her first aria, there was a perceptible change in the atmosphere. It seemed for a moment that everyone had stopped breathing”. Representatives of the major operatic and recording companies were in the audience that evening, and overnight her international career was launched. Since then, she has sung in all the great opera houses and concert halls throughout the world: Scala Milan, New York Metropolitan, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Paris Opera, Gran Teatro del Liceo Barcelona, Moscow Bolshoi, Saint Petersburg Maryinski, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, San Francisco Opera, Hamburg Opera, Munich Opera, Salzburg Festival, Aix en Provence, Orange, Glyndebourne, Pesaro, Verona, London Royal Festival Hall, Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall New York, Palau de la Música Catalana Barcelona, Teatro Real Madrid, NHK Hall Tokyo, Salle Pleyel, Salle Gaveau and Thëâtre Champs Elysées Paris, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Vienna Konzerthaus, etc. She has also sung under with the most prestigious orchestras and under the baton of Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, Claudio Abbado, James Levine, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis, Riccardo Muti, Carlo Maria Giulini, among others.
© Robert Pullen & Stephen Taylor.