Montserrat Caballé: Spanish soprano's funeral takes place

Montserrat Caballe performing in Vienna in 1979

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AFP / Getty Images

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Caballé performing in Vienna in 1979

Leading Spanish political and cultural figures have been attending the funeral in Barcelona of soprano Montserrat Caballé who died on Saturday aged 85.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Queen Sophia were among those that gathered in the Corts district of the city, capital of the Catalonia region.

Caballé, who was from Barcelona, is being buried next to her parents.

Her duet with Freddie Mercury became the signature song of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

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Over a career that spanned 50 years, she became an international superstar, famed for the beauty of her voice and her dramatic interpretation.

She had stints with the Basel Opera and Bremen Opera before her international breakthrough in 1965 in Lucrezia Borgia at Carnegie Hall in New York.

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Queen Sophie arrived to pay her respects to the singer

Later came the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Vienna State Opera.

Representatives from the Gran Teatre Del Liceu, the Barcelona theatre company she first performed with as a child, also attended the funeral.

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez (left) stood alongside Catalan President Quim Torra

The singer had been suffering from health complaints and had been admitted to hospital in Barcelona last month.

She was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 1985 and had treatment for a heart problem in 1993.

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