February 29, 2016

“Robust passion” with a “megawatt tenor” in Roméo et Juliette at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Joseph Calleja’s Romeo in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new Roméo et Juliette has earned the Maltese tenor acclaim for a “megawatt tenor,” “robust passion,” and an “effortlessly clarion sound.”

“Calleja cut a suitably dashing, Byronesque figure and produced a big, bright, effortlessly clarion sound that rang to thrilling effect in Romeo’s balcony-scene cavatina ‘Ah! leve-toi, soleil!’ The Maltese tenor also summoned palpable anguish for his Act 3 finale ‘Ah! jour de deuil,’” wrote the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune also praised “the robust passion he poured into his portrayal of the doomed hero,” and noted that the “detailed direction” of the production allowed “[this] appealing singing [actor] to penetrate deeply into the music, French text, and dramatic scheme.”

“Joseph Calleja sings splendidly, reminiscent of Alfredo Kraus in quieter moments,” wrote New City Stage. Bachtrack added that the Maltese tenor “makes the role brawny and sympathetic, crackling from the first note with a megawatt tenor that doesn’t let up.” “When Joseph Calleja as Romeo (at performances through March 8) joins [Susanna Phillips as Juliet] in their first duet, it’s no less than pure joy to hear,” noted

Roméo et Juliette continues at Lyric Opera of Chicago with Joseph in the title role through March 8. Click here to see the trailer. 

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?