June 22, 2017

Calleja debuts in ‘I due Foscari’ at the Salzburg Festival

Mr. Calleja makes his debut at the Salzburg Summer Opera Festival in Verdi’s I due Foscari with a sold-out performance August 11, followed by a matinée on August 14. This is also a role debut for the Maltese tenor, as he tackles Jacopo Foscari for the first time. Although this is his first outing in the role, Calleja is no stranger to Verdi, having performed the majority of the composer’s most prominent tenor roles, including the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra, Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera, Macduff in Macbeth, and Alfredo Germont in La traviata.

Performed in concert, Mr. Calleja stars along side Plácido Domingo as Francesco Foscari, Maria Agresta as Lucrezia Contarini, Roberto Tagliavini as Jacopo Loredano, and Bror Magnus Tødenes as Barbarigo. The Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg will be led by Italian conductor Michele Mariotti. The opera premiered in 1844, and the story centers around the trial of Jacopo, who is accused of murder. Verdi uses leitmotivs, a musical and thematic scheme associated most often with Wagner’s compositions, to illustrate the character development in this opera, as conductor Antonio Pappano explains in this YouTube video.

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?