May 26, 2015

Joseph “embodies the virtues of traditional Italian tenor singing” in Royal Opera House La Bohème

This past weekend’s revival of La Bohème at the Royal Opera House — the company’s final presentation of John Copley’s iconic production — generated acclaim for Joseph Calleja in the role of Rodolfo. Bachtrack wrote of the premiere that the Maltese tenor “embodies the virtues of traditional Italian tenor singing: warmth and generosity of tone coupled with a voice that never seems to strain.”

“His great charm as both singer and performer won out,” The Telegraph added. “The dappled sunlit tone he generates is always a pleasure to hear.” The Guardian concurred, noting that “Calleja is passionate, lyrical, beautifully impulsive.” Music OMH went on to add “His voice is expansive in tone, while his middle register is particularly fine.”

“Joseph Calleja, from Malta, has matured into an artist of substance – his thrillingly powerful, freely soaring tenor is the real deal,” wrote The Stage, which went on to add, “Opera superstars Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja ensure a great send-off for a venerable production.”

The Sunday Times concluded, “I’d rate Netrebko and Calleja as one of the finest pairings since the ideally matched Katia Ricciarelli and Jose Carreras.”

Joseph continues as Rodolfo, opposite Anna Netrebko as Mimì, through June 10 at Covent Garden. Additionally, June 10’s performance will be relayed into movie theaters around the globe as part of the ROH cinecast season.

For more on the production, click here to read Joseph’s recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar.

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?