March 17, 2016

April 1 – 16: Simon Boccanegra at the Metropolitan Opera

Following a run of Roméo et Juliette at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joseph Calleja next returns to the Metropolitan Opera stage for Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra in the heroic role of Gabriele Adorno.

Among a cast of noted Verdians led by Music Director James Levine, Joseph stars opposite Plácido Domingo in the title role, Ferruccio Furlanetto as Jacopo Fiesco, and Lianna Haroutounian as Amelia Grimaldi in the composer’s compelling political drama in a revival of Giancarlo del Monaco’s lush production.

Performances take place April 1, 5, 9, 13, and 16 with a live audio stream of the premiere on April 1 via A further airing on April 9 will be presented on terrestrial and digital radio as part of the Met’s Saturday matinee broadcasts which can be heard on the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.

An acclaimed interpreter of Gabriele, Joseph has been praised by The Guardian for “fully vindicating the integrity and complexity of a role that some tenors have regarded as being insufficiently starry and have refused to sing.” Opera Britannia added that the part is “probably Joseph Calleja’s best Verdi role.”

Joseph can be seen and heard opposite Domingo in the Royal Opera House’s 2010 production of Simon Boccanegra, available on DVD, and also appears on the 2013 audio recording of the work with Thomas Hampson in the title role.

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?