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August 29, 2014

Joseph covers Opera Now’s September issue

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“I don’t try to sing like a Golden-Age tenor—I just try to sing what the composer wanted,” Joseph Calleja tells Opera Now. The Maltese tenor is the British magazine’s cover story for the month of September.

Fans of Joseph can read the edition for free by registering for an account with Opera Now publisher Rhinegold, using the access code: CALLEJA14.

Click here to sign up and to read Joseph’s in-depth interview with Jessica Duchen.

August 27, 2014

Joseph guests with Haná Opera Festival in Czech Republic

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This Sunday, Joseph Calleja appears in the Czech city of Prostejov for a grand open-air concert with the Haná Opera Festival. The Maltese tenor is one of two star opera singers to headline the festival, which previously hosted mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča.

On T.G. Masaryk Square in front of Prostejov’s City Hall, Joseph joins chief conductor of the Slovak National Theatre Rastislav Stur and guest baritone Lucas Meachem for an evening of operatic favorites. Click here for more information.

 

August 25, 2014

Fall highlights for Joseph Calleja include Verdi in New York and Munich; galas in Czech Republic, Russia, Spain, and Portugal; recital in Québec

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Continuing his fall performance calendar, which was launched with a critically acclaimed gala concert in Copenhagen, Joseph Calleja looks forward to a mix of operatic roles and concert appearances as well as his first recital of the 2014-15 season.

The Maltese tenor revisits two favorite Verdi roles, starting with Macduff in Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera. He stars opposite Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, René Pape as Banquo, and Željko Lučić in the title role September 24 through October 18. Joseph then returns to Munich for three performances as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto at the Bayerische Staatsoper on November 8, 11, and 14. In between his performances at the Met, Joseph also gives a recital in Canada at Québec’s Club Musical on September 29.

With his concert season already in full swing, Joseph anticipates more gala evenings beginning with Prostejov, Czech Republic, on August 31 with the Haná Opera Festival. Further appearances include Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow (September 3), the Auditorio Nacional de Música in Madrid (November 18), and the Gulbenkian in Lisbon (November 21).

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

 

Joseph's Blog

July 11th, 2014

10 tips to overcome vocal fatigue

The end of my operatic season is night and pretty much invariably, year after year, its when I feel most tired and in dire need of my annual summer break. Singing the last few performances culminating with my Malta yearly summer concert can be a challenge – especially when I have to tackle a total of around 19 arias/songs!
Thankfully there is stuff that works for a tired physique and voice. Here is what works for me -

1. Move! Working out, swimming and even a long brisk walk will do wonders for your circulatory system. Don’t do this on the day of the performance but definitely in between.

2. Silence. If you are singing a lot than it is imperative that you keep mum during other hours and only talk if its absolutely necessary. Limit phone conversations too as much as possible.

3. Diet – 3 main meals a day are a must. Avoid foods high in lactose and sugar and go instead for protein, veg and loads of fresh fruit. Keeping your blood sugar relatively constant is important and regular, healthy meals will lessen the likelihood of acid reflux. Its also important not to eat late in the evening. I try to avoid eating after 6pm whenever possible.

4. Steam inhalations – Get a big pot or steam inhalator, throw in some bicarbonate of soda and sea salt and just inhale the healing/relieving vapours! This is really beneficial to basically all your upper respiratory tract and will dislodge mucus and other impurities from your throat.

5. Nasal irrigation – Not the nicest “procedure” but it does remove all kinds of “junk” from your nose. Make sure you always rinse with saline water and there are prepared sachets you can get from virtually any pharmacy.

6. Sleep – Its boring but a good 8 hour sleep is unbeatable to get the voice back in shape. Acid reflux sufferers will also find relief by tilting their head upwards by using two pillows to avoid nasty acid creeping up their throat during their slumber.

7. Stress – or the lack of it. Absolutely avoid stressful situations which may include noisy places/bars. Your throat tenses up automatically even if you don’t speak apart from the fact that you can “tire” your ears out. There have been some studies that our “ears” tire out too so the avoidance of high decibel places is a must!

8. Vibrator – Yep that one. Apparently tests have shown that massaging your throat with a vibrator is beneficial to the surrounding neck muscles. Apparently there are some therapists that employ such “devices” already…

9. Humidity – A constant dry environment can spell disaster for your voice and general well being. If you are in a cold climate and the heating is at full blast, chances are that the relative humidity is low. Invest in a humidifier and let them rip! We all have slightly different comfort levels. For me what works best is around 55 to 65% – just like a good cigar!

10. Arguments – Whether of a business or personal nature do walk away from these when you are singing. Even if talking is not involved the mere thought or presence of something negative will automatically tense your neck muscles and raise the incidence of acid reflux!

 

If everything of the above fails than you need a vacation! Choose a high humid climate with beautiful, clear seas at hand. Swimming in the ocean/sea is truly beneficial for the voice as long as one avoids the worse hours of the sun.