History has been made in classical music, and this is not an exception. The performance of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock band Queen, and soprano Montserrat Caballe remains legendary no matter how long you repeat the performance.
Their “Barcelona” duet opened the 1992 Spain Olympics, and it made history. It was the amalgamation of classical music and rock. The Olympic flag got to Spain in 1988 from Seoul in Korea, and they came together to immortalize the day.
The Spanish opera and soprano singer, Montserrat Caballe, had invited Freddie Mercury to sing with her. Freddie had earlier made his affection for opera known. If you’ve listened to Bohemian Rhapsody, you would’ve noticed the overwhelming opera in the song.
He also said he’d love to meet Montserrat on Spanish television, and they met a year later. When Montserrat was invited to mark the launch of the next Olympics to be hosted by Spain with her song, she asked her new friend.
With Freddie’s usual charisma, the unexpected music pairing emerged. Played at the La Nit open-air festival; it was magnificent. A year before, the duo had made an album of the same title, and as expected, it was so successful.
It hit UK’s Singles Chart no. 8, and it was a dream come true for Freddie Mercury. As a genre he’d admired, he was immersed in the singing, and it blended with the charm that Montserrat Caballe brought to the stage.
With that graceful performance, one of the finest tenors in history was recorded. Although Freddie died in 1991, when the Olympic games opened in 1992, “Barcelona” was used as the opening ceremony to honor the terrific rock legend.