Montserrat Caballé, Bernabé Martí and their son Bernabé in Milan in 1971
Bernabé Martínez Remacha
14 November 1928
|Occupation||Opera singer (tenor)|
|Spouse(s)||Montserrat Caballé (m. 1964–2018; her death)|
Bernabé Martí Jr.
He was born as Bernabé Martínez Remacha, the sixth and last child of his family, in Villarroya de la Sierra in the Province of Zaragoza, Aragon. His early musical training was in the saxophone in his municipal band. He later studied singing in Zaragoza, the Madrid Royal Conservatory under José Luis Lloret, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. He also had lessons with the soprano Mercedes Llopart in Milan.
His first critical success came with Manuel de Falla's La vida breve in Granada in 1958, followed by Salome in Düsseldorf under Alberto Erede. He then toured for two years singing in various European cities. In 1960 he performed at the Liceu in Barcelona in the premiere of El cap de drac by Ricard Lamote de Grignon.
At that time he changed his professional name to Bernabé Martí. He has since appeared in France, Germany, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima, Caracas and Santiago de Chile, in operas such as Carmen, Werther and Manon Lescaut.
His Carnegie Hall debut was in Il pirata, followed by Il trovatore, Rigoletto, Tosca, Werther, Turandot, Pagliacci, Carmen and Norma, in American cities such as San Antonio (Texas), Washington DC, Dallas, Houston and Kansas. He sang Gabriele Adorno in "Simon Boccanegra" in Philadelphia.
In 1964 he married the soprano Montserrat Caballé. They had met earlier that year when on short notice he replaced an ailing tenor for performances of Madama Butterfly in Corunna. Martí and Caballé later sang together many times. They have a son named Bernabé and a daughter named Montserrat Martí, also a singer.
In 1972 he had to abandon a performance in Paris due to problems with his voice, which was subsequently identified as lung disease. He responded to treatment, but his career came to an end in 1985 after he was diagnosed with a cardiac condition.
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