April 27, 2014

Accommodation and singing opera.

One thing I seldom see being discussed is the type of accommodation an opera singer really needs. Indeed I rank the place where you live, sleep and eat as one of the most imp0rtant factors to be able to perform consistently and at an acceptable level. Noise levels, cleanliness and (perhaps most important) humidity really do factor and contribute to one’s general vocal health. Lets take humidity as an example. Anything below 40% relative humidity is generally going to be problematic for most singers. Your nose will probably bleed and you will feel a sensation of a “parched throat.” Chamomile tea with honey will sooth this temporary but it is advisable that you go out and buy humidifiers immediately.

Temperature is another thing which is often overlooked. I tend to keep my room at 19 to 20 degrees Celsius. I open windows to let in fresh air as often as possible and do not mind different temperatures in different rooms of the apartment. In fact I find changes of temperature to be rather invigorating much like a cold shower after a few minutes in the Sauna…

Last but not least I cannot stress how sound insulation is a must especially in noisy cities. It is quite boring but what the voice really needs to recover is loads of sleep and the latter is difficult to get if you can hear noisy sirens and horns all night long!




  1. Kiki

    Its all about listening to your body and have such good places like the Corinthia hotel. Happy for you to have a good management. Take good care off yourself mr. Joseph Calleja. With warm regards Kiki

  2. My parents won’t stay at the thistle in Glasgow now because of noise and disturbance in the middle of the night. Do you take a mini humidifier with you or do the big hotels have them for you to use? Congrats on your fabulous reviews in Faust.
    Best wishes

  3. Anne Boardman

    How do you manage in NY? (the city that never sleeps) Can I assume you stay in rooms on the higher floors to reduce the noise levels?

    • admin

      Very good question. I look for hotel rooms or apartments with a lot of insulation. Singers do need quite a while to get adjusted to the smog and sudden weather changes in that part of the world. Back in Malta it takes a month for a significant change in weather! 🙂

  4. Well, it is an interesting discussion: The worst is a stress for a voice. I think you should have a pensive like Dumbledore to put for the time you sing all the things you have to think about in the usual run of a day!

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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?