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August 21, 2014

Joseph headlines Menuhin Festival Gstaad gala concert

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This Friday, Joseph Calleja heads to Gstaad as part of the city’s Menuhin Festival. The Maltese tenor headlines a gala concert that also features Thomas Hampson and Diana Damrau in an evening of operatic favorites.

Joseph can be heard in selections from L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor, Simon Boccanegra, Tosca, and Manon. For more information, click here.

 

August 19, 2014

Listen to Joseph’s Tivoli concert from Copenhagen

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Joseph Calleja opened up his 2014-15 concert season on a high note with a gala concert celebrating the 171st anniversary of Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens. The critically-praised performance  is now available for streaming on DR Radio. Of his August 15 appearance, national newspaper Berlingske praised the Maltese tenor’s “heroic” performance: “Calleja does not possess a single flaw in his voice, which is blessed with a Pavarotti-like sound. From Maltese to foreign languages, he can sing everything. Calleja does it all.”

The broadcast also features an interview between Joseph and DR host Jørgen Hansen.

Click here to listen to Joseph in concert with the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, conductor Yves Abel, and soprano Sophie Elkjaer.

 

August 6, 2014

Danish galas in Copenhagen and Aalborg

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Joseph Calleja appears in Denmark twice this month with concerts in Copenhagen (August 15) and Aalborg (August 17). His appearance in the capital city marks the 171st anniversary of the Tivoli Gardens, an amusement park that was opened in 1843. Joining the Maltese tenor are the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra and conductor Yves Abel for an evening of arias and songs by Tchaikovsky, Verdi, Gounod, Offenbach, Cilea, and Tosti.

Joseph, Abel, and the TSO reprise their August 15 program two days later at the Musikens Hus in Aalborg.

 

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.