September 13, 2016
Joseph Calleja “a throwback to the age of Björling, Gigli, and Tagliavini” in role debut as Pollione
Following last night’s opening of the Royal Opera House’s 2016-17 season in his role debut as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma, Joseph Calleja has earned acclaim from audiences and critics alike. “[His] warm vibrato and liquid golden tone is a throwback to the age of Björling, Gigli and Tagliavini,” wrote Bachtrack, which went on to note that the Maltese tenor’s performance “almost made Pollione sympathetic, despite being the love-rat in the nest.”
“Calleja is in splendidly ringing voice,” added The Times, while The i Paper noted “his timelessly beautiful voice has never sounded better.”
“Joseph Calleja was back in cracking form as Pollione, a viciously uningratiating role of which he never made heavy weather,” wrote The Telegraph. “I’ve seldom heard ‘Meco all’altar di venere’ so confidently dispatched.”
“Joseph Calleja makes a strong and clear Pollione, at his best when he sings with the light and shade of which he is capable,” added the Financial Times.
The Guardian concluded that Joseph, “handsome-sounding, is naturally more at home in this music, his voice ringing easily through his arias, his characterisation growing in depth as the performance progresses.”
(Photo: Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House)