Soprano Montserrat Caballé about her teacher Conxita Badia

She was unique, unique, all the monuments they could create for her would be too few and if I should be good enough as to leave a mark, the one that I had to leave would be hers.

Montserrat Caballé (1933-2018) was one of Conxita Badia‘s pupils.

Conxita Badia and Montserrat Caballé

A composer about Conxita Badia’s voice

An unmistakable voice with an expression so full of emotion, but always natural and sincere which makes of Conxita Badia – ‘voice of our songs’ – an ideal interpreter of my songs.

Pianist and composer Frederic Mompou who frequently accompanied Conxita singing his songs, like ‘Damunt de tu només les flors‘.

 

Conxita Badia, singer

Some time ago I read the review of a documentary that got me curious. Its title was enticing: Conxita Badia no existeix (Conxita Badia does not exist). The name did ring a bell, but was I remembering someone who did not exist?

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Conxita Badia in Argentina (1939)

It turned out to be a film about soprano Conxita Badia (1897-1975) made by her great-granddaughter Eulàlia Domènech. She had found out that very few audios and no videos of Badia’s performances have been preserved. This lack of remnants gave her the feeling that she had to inform the general public about her talented relative who was once universally recognized as an accomplished lied singer.

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Photo taken in 1934

In the interviews shown in the documentary, experts and people who have known her explain that Conxita Badia was the perfect lied singer and an inspiration for many composers and musicians. In fact, quite a number of them seems to owe their fame to her.

Apart from her beautiful soprano voice, Conxita Badia allegedly knew how to communicate to the public the action and emotion of the poem set to music. Her sense of timing, rhythm, interval and phrasing were flawless, while her facial expression and body language supported the meaning of the song. Critics especially praise her diction stressing the clear and accurate presentation of each and every line.

According to the film, in her time the vocalist was famous and performed in the best concert halls in Europe and North and South America. This means that many people around the world must have heard her sing. Yet she hardly left any trace. So here is what I have come to know about her. Longread: a life filled with songs

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