News

February 25, 2013

Joseph sings Verdi’s Requiem in Munich to celebrate composer’s bicentennial

Verdi Calleja news item

Joseph Calleja returns to the stage of Munich’s Nation Theatre tonight and tomorrow for gala concerts of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian composer. For these two sold-out performances, Zubin Mehta leads the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera, and an exceptional quartet of soloists that in addition to the Maltese tenor includes soprano Krassima Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, and bass Kwangchul Youn.

The concerts follow Joseph’s successful run at the Bavarian State Opera last week as Tebaldo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. For those who missed the performances, Joseph’s “rich and sonorous” (Interchanging Idioms) portrayal of Tebaldo can be heard on Deutsche Grammophon’s recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanča.

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…