claims that the audio played is Freddy Mercury singing with a very high 'opera' voice, and the comments seem to agree. On the other hand, I think the voice sounds female and is not Freddy Mercury's. Following up on it, I found
where he is on stage with a woman singing with an operatic voice.

So is it a hoax?

  • Mercury and Caballé recorded a whole opera-influenced album. You could check out the song La Japonaise where they frequently both sing high notes at the same time. So yeah he could reach pretty high ones but not quite in the same league as Caballé :) Also check out Freddie's "pre-Queen" alias Larry Lurex, there are some demo:ish recordings of Goin' Back and I Can Hear Music from the early 1970s where he goes pretty much full soprano.
    – Amarth
    Nov 28, 2023 at 19:21

1 Answer 1


Freddie went to the Royal Opera House in London in 1981 to see Luciano Pavarotti sing Verdi's "Un ballo in maschera" but he was even more impressed by mezzosoprano Montserrat Caballé and said that he had now heard the best voice in the world. He told his manager, Jim Beach, that he wanted to record with her, and a meeting was arranged in 1987. Freddie recorded a demo "Exercises in Free Love" (the first example in the question) imitating Caballé's voice, and took it to the meeting. She immediately asked if she could sing the song at her next gala, and they started work on what was to become their album "Barcelona". The title song was written for and featured at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.

So the answer to the question is no. That's really Freddie Mercury singing falsetto in the first example ("Exercises in Free Love", released as the B-side of "The Great Pretender"), but he didn't sing the soprano parts on "Barcelona" as the album was recorded and originally released. Note: there was at least one CD re-release of "Barcelona" which included "Exercises in Free Love" as a bonus track.

There's another audio recording of Freddie singing falsetto at a rehearsal session with Caballé in 1987 together with Freddie's musical director Mike Moran on piano:

On the final recording he wisely left the soprano parts to Caballé.

  • Amazing. Did he sing like that on any other occasion? Jun 2, 2021 at 3:57
  • 1
    @SecurityEveryDay Apparently he made demos of Caballé's parts on "Barcelona" for her to record over, but I've never heard of them turning up anywhere.
    – PiedPiper
    Jun 2, 2021 at 8:04
  • Is there any video footage of him doing it? Jun 2, 2021 at 15:39
  • @SecurityEveryDay It's very unlikely that there are videos of him recording demos.
    – PiedPiper
    Jun 2, 2021 at 21:23
  • 1
    What evidence if any, is there that the audio is of Freddy Mercury singing? Jun 3, 2021 at 13:51

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