September 27, 2012
Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja has been named the 2012 Gramophone “Artist of the Year.” The announcement was made at the Gramophone Awards at the Dorchester Hotel in London earlier today. The Artist of the Year award is the only Gramophone prize bestowed by public vote, and recent winners include conductor Gustavo Dudamel and mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato. After learning of the win, Joseph told The Times, “The other nominees are all great artists, so I am very honored to have won this. It has been a great month for me personally and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me from the bottom of my heart.”
The award caps off what has been a successful start to Joseph’s 2012-13 season. On September 8, Joseph performed at the world-famous Last Night of the Proms with violinist Nicola Benedetti. In its review of the performance, Reuters said, “Calleja, for one, was in top form and got ovation after ovation for his ventures into repertoires like Puccini’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ and Lara’s ‘Granada’ that once were standards for the late Luciano Pavarotti.” A week later, the release of his fourth solo album on Decca, Be My Love: A Tribute to Mario Lanza, became the first classical album to hit No. 1 on the Danish Pop Chart since the release of The Three Tenors in 1994. Joseph closes the month singing the role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s classic Madama Butterfly with the Vienna State Opera and then celebrates the U.S. release of Be My Love with a concert at New York’s City Winery in collaboration with the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival on October 11.