September 24, 2012

St Emilion

Imagine a place set in a beautiful rural landscape, great weather, a Unesco world heritage city that also happens to offer excellent food and perhaps the world’s best wine…..

Well no need to imagine anymore as St Emilion, located in Bordeaux – France, is all of the above and more. If you ever get the chance try to get there in the weekend of “La nuit de patrimoine” and/or “Ban des vendanges” which happens in the second week of September. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

The predominantly gothic architecture is stunning and walking on the many “cobbled” streets does give one the impression of going back in time but it is the spirit (pun not intended) of the wine growers and residents of St Emilion that really makes this place unique. Wine making is a very difficult art that is easily compared to the travails of honing an operatic voice and it was a privilege to be explained the wine making process by some of the leading wine makers of the region that all form part of the “Jurade de St Emilion.”

The Jurade is the oldest wine association in the world founded some time in 1199 and I am very honored to hold one of the top honors they grant. For more information about the Jurade check out the following link  –

Last but not least many of you will ask but which is the best wine? Wine, like art, is pretty subjective but if you head out there do not miss the following wines – Figeac, La Serre, Grand Corbin Despagne, Assault, Ausone,  Angelus and Coutet….






  1. Michele Loren Simon

    Dear Mr. Calleja –
    My wife and I live in Florida, but are flying to New York tomorrow (Wednesday 10/10/12) because we bought tickets for your New York City Winery concert this Thursday, 10/11/12. I received an email earlier today saying you had cancelled this concert because you became sick after performing a concert in Helsinki, and I then found your note on your website saying the concert was cancelled. I hope there is nothing seriously wrong with you. We are an elderly couple (70’s), and were very much looking forward to hearing you in person. I was a close friend of Franco Corelli, and still speak with his widow Loretta in Milano every few weeks. If you could schedule a concert in Jacksonville (northeast) or Port St. Lucie (south) Florida (we have two homes), we would love to hear and see you in person. While I am crazy about the voice of Juan Diego Florez, from your records and You-tube videos, yours is a voice more comparable to that of my friend.
    Be well, and continue with your great career.
    My best,

  2. Dear Mr. Calleja,

    I have only just discovered you through an article I was reading in The Guardian newspaper from UK ( I live on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada and am originally from the Toronto area. Just listening to a couple of samples on You Tube has left me with tears running down my face. You voice is truly remarkable and oh-so-beautifully rich and multi-layered. I will be going out later today to buy your CD’s and also searching online for your concert schedule in North America.

    I will tell our friends in NYC about you and also pray that one day I will have the great and good fortune to hear you in concert myself. Please visit my website to see my visual art…it’s classically-based and so you may find it appealing.

    I wish you a speedy recovery and many years ahead of global success.

    Sincerely, Brian Middleton

  3. Uffe Lindum

    Dear Mr. Calleja, I’m still disappointed that you did not address the audience in Danish after your Festival Week concert in Århus, DK. You did in 2009, and we were some who had looked for more. Can I buy you a drink at your next visit?


    Uffe Lindum

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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?