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September 27, 2014

In between performances of a critically-acclaimed Macbeth, Joseph gives a recital in Québec City


On September 29, Joseph Calleja continues his autumn performances with a recital at the Club Musical de Québec. Together with pianist Kevin J. Miller, the Maltese tenor presents a program of arias and song that includes Tchaikovsky’s “None But the Lonely Heart,” Handel’s “Ombra mai fu,” the popular Kleinzach aria from Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Tosti’s “La serenata.” Joseph even gives Canadian audiences a taste of his current role at the Metropolitan Opera with Macduff’s aria from Verdi’s Macbeth. Click here to purchase tickets.

September 25, 2014

Joseph in “ardent, excellent voice” as Macduff in Macbeth at the Met


Joseph Calleja’s return to the Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday night in Verdi’s Macbeth was received with an ardent acclaim to match what The New York Times described as the Maltese tenor’s “ardent, excellent voice.”

The Financial Times concurred, noting that the role of Macduff was “luxuriously cast… The timbre of Joseph Calleja’s plangent tenor is highly distinctive yet underscores the depths of Macduff’s despair in lamenting the loss of wife and children to Macbeth’s despotic reign.”

Likewise, New York Classical Review observed, “Surrounded by dark, viscous voices, he stood out for his creamy, golden sound, quick vibrato, and ringing top notes, which showed not a blemish. His account of the heart-rending aria ‘O figli! O figli miei’ was the evening’s vocal highlight, simply but sensitively phrased, earning a generous cheer.” The Latin Post added, “Each line was exquisitely phrased with tender and warm colors and the effect was touching and tender.”

Macbeth continues at the Metropolitan Opera through October 18. The production also opens the Met in HD season on October 11 and can be viewed in cinemas around the globe.

(Photo: Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera)


September 10, 2014

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


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)

Joseph's Blog

September 27th, 2014

Malta’s 50th birthday.

Unfortunately work commitments prevented me from being present for the 50th Anniversary of Malta’s independence. By all accounts the show was quite something and Prince William seemed genuinely charmed by my fellow islanders. Kudos to the government and the organizers.

I sometimes wonder how the Maltese people managed to achieve so much in relatively little time. Lets not kid ourselves – we are a very small island and  in the middle of nowhere to boot. As yet we can boast 7,000 years of history, our own unique culture, language and a populace that, throughout the ages, has  repeatedly demonstrated  that it could rise to the occasion and punch above its weight when it really matters.  And how I wish, that it “matters” more often!

I simply hate it when I see some of my fellow countrymen squabble over a few votes and losing all principles whilst rubbishing great ideas just because they come from the other side of the fence. I can’t understand why there is a certain fanatical mindset, on both sides, that thinks only one half of the population is fit to “lead” the nation and should do so indefinitely. Can it please be a battle of ideas rather than “parading” colors in peacock like fashion?  For example - individuals who are simply not fit for purpose, should be treated exactly as such and not given positions of “pseudo importance” because it was “politically convenient” at the time.

The current government won the past elections with an historic majority, the likes of which we have never seen. Such a big win means power and this power surely must be “cashed” into responsibility. This majority has to be used to tackle certain hot issues and implement changes where necessary.

It’s easy to dismiss my words as “uninformed” or “utopian” but the thing is that I have travelled the world, pretty much constantly for the past 17 years. The more I see and soak in different cultures and experiences, the more I realize how much untapped potential Malta still has. Surely the management of our environment, education, infrastructure  and culture is in need of tweaking or a complete overhaul in some cases.

The good news is that I can see it happening already. The bad news is that it might not be happening as fast as it should. I really hope that our dynamic leaders do not mess up things in the end game and may the next 50 years be a time when we Maltese understand what we were, what we are now and what we could turn into if we truly become a united nation. It matters now…