April 28, 2017

Rigoletto | The Metropolitan Opera

“Fittingly, the best performance was that of Joseph Calleja as the Duke. Originally this was not the lead vocal role, but Caruso changed all that and, since then, all tenors salivate for the character … the most satisfying character to be heard. Not afraid to let loose with his very loud passages, he commanded and controlled as only the ruler should.”

“His maturity has strengthened the power of the voice, experience has reinforced the breadth without altering the unity of the registers. The intact flexibility allows cadences in the form of arabesque, illustrated with skillful distinction. There is also the light ringing with which the Maltese tenor made his mark. This distinctive sign, immediately identifiable, represents a significant asset in a lyrical world where singers, from one scene to another, seem interchangeable. Last but not least, the mastery of the mixed-voice: this appreciable and not so frequent faculty to emit the sound as mezza voce with delicacy, as a secret entrusted to the cavern of the ear. Hence the question often asked: why is Joseph Calleja so rarely in France and in Paris today?”

{La maturité a affermi la puissance de la voix, l’expérience en a conforté la largeur sans altérer l’unité des registres. La souplesse intacte autorise des cadences en forme d’arabesque, dessinée d’un trait habile. Subsiste aussi le léger grelot dont le ténor maltais a fait sa marque de fabrique. Ce signe distinctif, immédiatement identifiable, représente un atout non négligeable dans un monde lyrique où les chanteurs, d’une scène à l’autre, semblent interchangeables. Last but not least, la maîtrise de la demi-teinte : cette faculté appréciable et pas si fréquente d’émettre le son mezza voce avec délicatesse, comme un secret confié au creux de l’oreille. D’où la question souvent posée : pourquoi Joseph Calleja est-il si rare en France et à Paris, aujourd’hui ?}

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?