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March 3, 2015

Joseph Calleja returns to Metropolitan Opera’s Lucia di Lammermoor


On March 16, Joseph Calleja returns to New York for his second production of the season with the Metropolitan Opera. The Maltese tenor reprises his acclaimed account of Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, starring in Mary Zimmerman’s moorish production through April 10.

Joseph was last seen in the Met’s Lucia in 2011, where he was praised by the Associated Press for “an Edgardo of exceptional elegance…at his best in the final scene, when Edgardo pours out his grief in a heartbreaking two-part aria, before stabbing himself so he can join Lucia in death. This was golden age vocalism, pure and simple.” The New York Times added, “Joseph Calleja was sensationally ardent as Lucia’s lover, Edgardo, one of the best roles of his young, exciting Met career. In so many productions, the tomb scene that ends the opera seems hopelessly anticlimactic after Lucia’s unraveling, but in this performance Donizetti’s structure finally made sense. It felt more like Edgardo’s tragedy than Lucia’s, so why not let him have the last, gorgeously eloquent word?”

(Photo: Ken Howard)

February 18, 2015

Joseph Calleja makes house role debut as Gabriele Adorno at the Met in 2016


As revealed in today’s 2015-16 season announcement, Joseph Calleja will return to the Metropolitan Opera next April for the company’s revival of Simon Boccanegra. Verdi’s Venetian drama hears the Maltese tenor as Gabriele Adorno, opposite Plácido Domingo in the title role and with James Levine conducting. Also heard in Giancarlo del Monaco’s production are Ferruccio Furlanetto as Jacopo Fiesco and Lianna Haroutounian as Amelia Grimaldi. Performances run April 1, 5, 9, 13, and 16.

Having sung the role across Europe, including for a Decca Classics recording with Thomas Hampson and Kristine Opolais, Joseph now sings Gabriele Adorno for the first time at the Met. The Guardian called his interpretation “outstanding…fully vindicating the integrity and complexity of a role that some tenors have regarded as being insufficiently starry and have refused to sing.” Opera Britannia wrote, “Gabriele Adorno is probably Joseph Calleja’s best Verdi role.”


Joseph Calleja returns to Bayerische Staatsoper’s Madama Butterfly this week


Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper to once again star as Pinkerton in the company’s production of Madama Butterfly. Having last sung the role in Munich last June, Joseph now sings the role for two performances February 21 and 26, opposite Kristine Opolais in the title role. Stefano Ranzani conducts the performances, which revive Wolf Busse’s production. Joseph will also sing a later performance of Madama Butterfly at the Staatsoper this July.

Joseph's Blog

January 10th, 2015

2014 and the New Year

2014 went by like a breeze. It was not always easy, especially with the challenge of finishing my new home whilst juggling a very heavy schedule. However, all’s well that ends well and in 2015 I look forward to reverting my full focus on this beautiful profession and vocation whilst enjoying the company of my loved ones especially my children. The latter turning fast into healthy and considerate young adults.

2015 couldn’t have started in a worse way. The atrocious, barbaric and senseless killing in Paris shocked the world. Watching a police officer being  shot in the head, at point blank range, in day light Paris was as horrific as it was surreal. I certainly hope that the general and unanimous outcry will gain even more momentum so that our leaders will take the necessary steps to protect our European values without compromise. Make no mistake – these fanatics won’t stop at anything; bombing and shooting at places of entertainment, including Opera houses and Concert Halls, will be next…

Fanatics and extremists of whatever religion or denomination have to be hunted down, prosecuted and incarcerated or deported. If the laws have to be changed to make this process easier and more effective then so be it.


Remember that evil only triumphs when the good do nothing. And talking about good here is an exemplary Muslim taking the correct stand –