January 4, 2017

Celebrating Malta at the BOZAR in Brussels

Joseph Calleja is the featured soloist in the Official Opening Concert of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, hosted at the BOZAR in Brussels on January 16. Mr. Calleja performs with The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Brian Schembri. The concert is part of a multi-month celebration of Maltese culture at the BOZAR, which began on January 1 and continues through June 30. The evening features selections by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and more; tickets and more information are available via the following link.

Programme notes:

The Mediterranean is a unifying theme of the BOZAR multiannual programme. This almost mythical sea flows between islands and peninsulas, linking three continents. It is the birthplace of empires and civilizations. After Cyprus (2012) and Greece (2014), we drop anchor in Malta to the proverbial fanfare of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by maestro Brian Schembri. La donna è mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto, E lucevan le stelle from Puccini’s Tosca and other legendary operas and arias are highlights of the programme, alongside Knights of Malta Ballet Suite by Malta’s national composer Charles Camilleri (1931 – 2009). For this ballet the composer takes inspiration from the Order of Malta or Order of Saint John, a medieval order of knights that still exists in Belgium in the form of a non-profit organization that helps the sick and the poor.

Concert to mark the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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?