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Luis Angel Catoni / Shawn Chua / Claudia Weber / Tim Evans

LUIS ANGEL CATONI (barbiere@bellsouth.net), who had seen Caballe in some 40 operatic roles and many concerts and recitals, wrote the following article.


Caballe's successes at the Liceu were legendary. Not only was the performance usually extended fifteen or more minutes at the end due to the audience's applause, but the ovations after each aria could be measured by the minutes. When she joined other Spanish stars at performances at the Liceu, it was not infrequent for the performance, that began (in the 60 's and 70 's) at 9:30PM, to end around 1:30AM. And after that most nights she would stay an hour or more signing autographs and photos for her admirers.

She was the subject of some very special tributes at the Liceu. In 1966 she was given the Liceu's gold medal. In 1969 she was the subject of a very special tribute after her performance of Maria Stuarda. The stage was flooded with flower bouquets, and pigeons were let loose to fly in the house (no "accidents" happened!). In 1977 with a performance of Salome she achieved her 100 th performance in the house. Another big night with more pigeons. In 1982, during a concert with Jose Carreras, the public spontaneously celebrated the 20 th anniversary of her singing in the house (and Carreras's 10 th as leading tenor). Billboards painted on big pieces of cloth were hung from the upper balcony.

In 1986 the audience also helped celebrate her 25 th anniversary. For the occasion she sang a concert and the tickets were free, with the house's artistic director, Lluis Andreu, personally at the box office supervising the dealing of tickets (two per person) to those who waited in line for many hours to get them.