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July 22, 2016

Annual summer concert in Malta on July 28 with Antonello Venditti and Suzanne Vega

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Joseph Calleja’s annual Maltese summer concert takes place this year on July 28 at Fosos in Floriana. An annual tradition for the home-grown tenor and one of the highlights of his performance calendar, this year’s guest lineup features two legendary singer-songwriters representing Italy and the United States: Antonello Venditti and Suzanne Vega.

Steven Mercurio leads the evening from the podium with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Also featured is the BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir, under the direction of Gillian Zammit.

For the fourth consecutive year, the ticketed concert will include a standing area free and open to the public. Click here for more information on tickets.

Click here for a video playlist of past Maltese summer concerts with performances by Joseph and special guests.

July 18, 2016

Brokering another deal with the devil, Joseph Calleja stars in Mefistofele with Münchner Opernfestspiele

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Following his role debut as Boito’s Faust with the company at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Joseph Calleja returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper’s production of Mefistofele presented as part of the Münchner Opernfestspiele July 21 and 24.

“Dafür singt Calleja, wie man es sich hinreißender nicht vorstellen kann. Wenn er den Mund aufmacht, scheint es, als ob auf der Bühne das Licht angeknipst wird. … enormer stimmlicher Präsenz, wachsweichen Phrasen, musterhaft entwickelten Höhen, mit einer einsam leuchtenden vokalen Qualität.” (Merkur)

The Maltese tenor stars opposite René Pape in the title role with Kristine Opolais as Margherita, Heike Grötzinger as Marta, and Andrea Borghini as Wagner. The revival of Roland Schwab’s production reunites the cast with conductor Omer Meir Wellber. Limited tickets remain.

Joseph will also return to the same role in Munich as part of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2016-17 season with performances on November 4, 7, and 10.

(Photo: Wilfried Hösl)

July 8, 2016

Joseph Calleja solos in Verdi Requiem at Chorégies d’Orange

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On July 16, Joseph Calleja returns to Orange, France for an open-air performance of Verdi’s mighty Requiem with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. A frequent interpreter of the work, the Maltese tenor is joined by soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, and bass Vitalij Kowaljow and the Choir of the Orfeón Donostiarra.

Tugan Sokhiev conducts the performance, which carries a rain date of July 17. Click here for additional information.

Joseph's Blog

May 16th, 2016

Quo Vadis Eurovision and other stories

Malta did not win the Eurovision but lo and behold the sun still rose and the island (the center of the known universe) still spun…

My two cents is that Ira Losco gave a really good performance and that the whole presentation was excellent. She shouldn’t have performed cause she is pregnant? Come off it – I have performed repeatedly with pregnant opera singers well into their 7th and 8th month of pregnancy and trust me when I say that rehearsing and performing for a full opera production is much more physically demanding than a couple of days at the Eurovision. Of course there are those who know much better than the undersigned and who went on to say that the presentation was a tad “camp”…oh the irony when one considers that the Eurovision is the campest of them all.

Meanwhile, this wouldn’t be Malta and the Eurovision wouldn’t be the Eurovision unless its politicized to the exhaustible hilt. The inevitable “mud slinging competition,” which we will see a lot of in the coming 22 months, ensued and even yours truly (inexplicably) ended up in the midst of the fray, in yet another “supernova” in a tea cup. The Eurovision suddenly became an interchangeable bullet to be used ad nauseam by both sides much like bitter parents who use their innocent children during disputes.  I have always found sycophants interesting, even amusing but they will not be getting the much desired Streisand effect from me, thank you very much. It is part of human nature after all to conjure conspiracies and we are not going to let the simple truth get in the way of some exciting and convenient fiction.

Speaking of “conjuring” is it me or is a company advertising real estate using a chap “connected” with the tragic and unnecessary death of an underage girl? It must be a clone or a”doppleganger”, otherwise this would be the epitome of bad taste and a 100 shades of wrong. Don’t get me wrong I am all for “second chances” and all of that but shouldn’t there be due process first? After all Lisa Marie didn’t get a second chance did she?