December 10, 2010

Elisir d’amore | Bavarian State Opera, December 2010


“After Giuseppe Filanoti and Pavol Breslik, Joseph Calleja has now stepped into the role as a dream casting, secure in singing and acting. Playing Nemorino as a kind of Chaplin-Keaton clown clone is not the thing for this tree of a man and his nobly vibrating timbre, And so in the costume and make-up and demeanor of a shy youngster we had the body of a giant. The not just marriage-hungry girls were allowed to undress him, and the sight of black, feel-good underwear instead of the usual body-hugging white variety – we could clearly hear it – still had plenty of impact on the ladies in the audience. He didn’t just sing his “Una furtiva lagrima” with infatuating beauty, but also managed the feat four meters up in the air on a lamp post.”


“Alessandro Corbelli…took some pretty flagrant liberties with the score. This was certainly not the case with Joseph Calleja’s Nemorino. Every note was spot-on, everything sounded magnificently harmonious, smooth, powerful yet restrained in expression. In his acting, the star tenor from Malta was a bit awkward, but left a powerful impression in his black underwear.” The heart of Donizetti’s opera, the aria “Una furtiva lagrima” was in the very best of hands.”


“After delivering Jonas Kaufmann in ‘Fidelio”, the State Opera treated us to another Christmas present in the form of Joseph Calleja. …. While Borchev only played a part, Joseph Calleja totally identified with his role even when he passed on some of the director’s ideas preferring to use his own success formula. Like the late Pavarotti before him, Calleja also portrays Nemorino as a charmingly clumsy fellow. An inhibited dreamer, who needs some alcohol to loosen his tongue, so he can prove himself on a par with his Adina. If she had listened a bit more carefully, however, she certainly would have had to fall for him a lot earlier, because such a powerful, radiant and yet so meltingly gentle tenor sound was always a precious rarity.”


“For the audience it was a great source of enjoyment to listen to the two of them together. Machadze thrilled us with her warm, glowing, virtuosic and flexibly guided soprano, Calleja with his powerful, house-filling, radiant tenor voice. As actors, both of them were also in top form. … Joseph Calleja delineated Nemorino as a naïve, lovable youngster, who nevertheless after tasting the love potion could switch over into a masculine, self-confident fellow with plenty of erotic appeal.”


“As a star guest from Malta at Prince Orlovsky’s party, Joseph Calleja put the crown on his recent performances as Nemorino with a star turn that brought the audience into spasms of enthusiasm.”

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?