News

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.”

Norma continues at the Royal Opera House with performances on September 16 ,20, 23, 26, and October 1, 4, and 8.

September 26’s performance will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the ROH Live Cinema season.

(Photo: Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House)

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?