News

September 27, 2012

Joseph named 2012 Gramophone “Artist of the Year”

Gramophone Awards logo

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.

Joseph's Blog

February 16th, 2016

Shooting hyenas

How absolutely appalling it is to read in the news that Ms Roberta Metsola had her life threatened because she expressed her views on illegal immigration. Whereas I understand the genuine concerns of some people that multiculturalism can be a strain on society if not handled very carefully, such concerns are most certainly not an excuse to exhibit such Neanderthal behaviour, bandying about death threats and mindless comments such as “we should shoot them and those who support them”.

I have expressed my disdain for excessive political correctness in the past and I stand firmly by my belief that any immigrants who stir trouble unreasonably should be deported immediately. Having said that, a nation can but benefit from a controlled influx of genuine immigrants (whether refugees or not) who really want to integrate and contribute to a society. I am afraid to say that that the person who wants to shoot Ms Metsola will have to shoot me too and that person will probably find out that I make for a much easier target…

Meanwhile my statement published on my public FaceBook page, in reference to the “Iene” incident, got picked up by the national media and a few expressed disgust that I was defending the Labour party and I thought it would be a good idea to spell it out especially for those who can only see in shades of red and blue. I grew up with television programs such as “Mai dire gol” and later on “Le Iene” so I know exactly what the latter programs entail. My reaction was not just one of disapproval on how this “journalist” behaved in our parliament completely unchallenged but at how many Maltese were ready to rubbish our country irrespective of the dubious veracity of the claims being made. My reaction would have been exactly the same irrespective of who was in Castille.  The excellent Raphael Vassallo explains it more eloquently than I do on this link – hhttp://www.maltatoday.com.mt/comment/blogs/62242/good_news_gee_how_disappointing#.VsOsouT2ZPY

It is one thing to “fight” tooth and nail for what is right, to fight corruption and to win the battle of ideas in hope of improving one’s country. It is quite another to derive pleasure when your country is being denigrated in light of dubious (at best) circumstances.