April 23, 2015

Joseph Calleja gives a Boston recital full of “radiant warmth”

Joseph Calleja’s U.S. recital debuts in Kansas City and Boston were received with bravos from audiences in both cities with additional high notes coming in the form of critical acclaim. Of his Celebrity Series of Boston recital at Jordan Hall, the Boston Globe wrote, “He was heroic in the romantic songs: Caldara’s ‘Alma del core,’ Donaudy’s ‘Vaghissima sembianza,’ Tosti’s ‘Ideale.’ He conveyed the torment of the bereaved Macduff in ‘Ah, la paterna mano,’ from Verdi’s Macbeth; from a hushed beginning he built to tragedy in ‘È la solita storia del pastore,’ from Cilea’s L’Arlesiana, and in ‘E lucevan le stelle,’ from Puccini’s Tosca.

The Boston Classical Review added that, “The tenor sings with radiant warmth with a rapid vibrato that gives his voice a vibrant touch … His singing was mesmerizing. With dark, penetrating tone, Calleja rendered a powerful and sensitive ‘Pourquois me réveiller’ from Massenet’s Werther. The angst-filled aria provided ample opportunity for the tenor to deliver the expressive goods, singing his phrases with full-throated tone while still being capable of lofting the soft passages with the utmost delicacy.”

“In Caldara’s ‘Alma del Core,’ and Pergolesi’s ‘Nina,’ straightforward and affecting songs, he showed that he can sing a simple love song and sell it, without elaborate ornaments, just straightforward beautiful singing: drop-dead-gorgeous singing. You could have heard a pin drop,” noted the Boston Musical Intelligencer. “He had us all in the palm of his hand: it was absolutely magical.”

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?