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September 10, 2014

Joseph returns to Metropolitan Opera’s Macbeth September 24–October 18

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This month finds Joseph Calleja back in New York for one of the Metropolitan Opera’s first productions of the 2014-15 season: Verdi’s Macbeth. The Maltese tenor is heard as Macduff September 24 through October 18, with a matinee on October 11 that opens the Metropolitan Opera’s wildly popular Live in HD series.

In the heroic role of the nobleman who seeks vengeance on the title Thane, Joseph has earned accolades across North America and Europe.  The New York Sun praised his voice in his house debut in the role, describing it as “a rich, darkish, velvety instrument that brought out the emotion of Macduff’s powerful aria, sung after the slaughter of his family by Macbeth’s forces.”

In this revival, Joseph stars opposite Željko Lučić in the title role and Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth. René Pape also appears as Banquo.

Click here for tickets to Macbeth.

Click here for information on Macbeth’s Live in HD screening.

(Photo: Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera)

September 2, 2014

In performance at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall

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Tomorrow, Joseph Calleja appears in a gala concert at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. Accompanied by the State Symphony Orchestra “New Russia” and conductor Rastislav Stur, the Maltese tenor offers an evening of operatic favorites in the national landmark.

In a nod to the hall’s namesake composer, Joseph will begin the evening with “None But the Lonely Heart,” before moving into operatic selections from Verdi’s Rigoletto and Macbeth, Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur and L’Arlesienne, and Puccini’s Tosca.

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.

Joseph's Blog

September 10th, 2014

A summer festival in Malta?

I was more than a bit amused to read some negative reporting re the fact that the government sponsored my summer concert. Hundreds of thousand of euros, if not millions, were thrown around  and some went as far to state that I was “on the take” and part of the hundreds of thousands were directed to my pocket. The claims are so ridiculous and unfounded that, to date,  I didn’t even bother to point it out. For those unfamiliar with our island, Malta is ferociously bi-partisan it is inevitable that, for some at least,  everything has to be turned into a political football. Others simply measure by their own yardstick. For the record I got no remuneration by the government, whether directly or indirectly, in the deal they made with NNG promotions nor form part of same company.  To my knowledge, the funds are wisely spent on the filming, editing and international distribution of the concert creating an incredible advert for Malta. Should the government sponsor such initiatives? Of course it should- as what better advertisement can Malta have to increase the much coveted “cultural tourism”?

In Malta we have the curse but also the blessing of being very small. So small in fact that you can walk from one end of the island to the other in less than a day. And what a walk that would be. Despite our small size, our location – smack in the middle of the Mare Nostrum  – made sure that every major civilization left its mark throughout our 7000 year history. Natural resources are pretty much non existent and even for fresh water we have to turn to the sea. Still our island nation enjoys the most important resource of all – its people. Once you remove our petty and constant bickering which (surprise surprise) usually revolve around politics, the Maltese are a force to be reckoned with and a nation that shy away from challenges we are not. Most of us are at least bi-lingual , hard working, resourceful and good hearted. Talent is also another virtue that this island has and never before  did we have so many young budding artists on the verge of an international career. When I was studying to be an opera singer there was literally no one else on the scene on a professional level bar Miriam Gauci. Nowadays we have close to a dozen. Clare Ghigo, Nico Darmanin, Cliff Zammit Stevens, Joseph Lia, Nicola Said and Marvic Monreal are already chasing their dream in conservatories and colleges abroad. Nico Darmanin in particular is already performing professionally and has already debuted at the Royal Opera House. This from a nation of 400,000.

Indeed it is a time of renaissance for at least classical music in Malta. So many festivals whether in Gozo, the place of my very first performances,  or Valletta. In fact it is time that the government notices the elephant in the room and launch THE proper summer festival our island deserves. The raw material is in place already it just needs to be coordinated and a month long festival is really within our grasp and no there is no multi million euro outlay as we have the necessary infrastructure in place already.  Our airport and airline are top notch and hotels comparable to the best on mainland Europe. All that is needed is that nudge, the concentration of the laser beam, the proverbial pulling of the same rope and Malta could host a festival that would rival any in Europe. This government has won with such a majority that it should really use that majority to implement changes that no one had the courage to do before. Redundant boards and committees should be restructured or removed altogether. Competent people should be given executive power to effect necessary changes and not waste their time and energies navigating the endless meanders of bureaucracy caused by useless boards.

 

Last but not least lets give Malta its cultural home back and move ahead with a National Theatre/auditorium. I hear there are great plans for the MCC, now is the time to move forward and turn these plans into reality. We have so much to offer and it would be a great sin to miss out on this opportunity. I dream of the day when Valletta will turn into a major and globally renowned  artistic hub. Believe me when I tell you that we have what it takes.