September 10, 2017

Joseph Calleja opens The Metropolitan Opera season as Pollione in new production of ‘Norma’

Joseph Calleja sings the role of Pollione in The Metropolitan Opera’s new staging of Norma, which opens their 2017/2018 season. The archetypal example of the Bel Canto style, Mr. Calleja takes on the challenge of singing this demanding tenor role. While the opera opens the season in the fall, it also returns in December. Most roles are double cast, however, Mr. Calleja sings all performances – including both the fall and winter dates.

Bellini’s masterpiece is staged by Sir David McVicar, a production which co-star Sondra Radvanovsky, who stars in the title role, discusses here. Ms. Radvanovsky sings Norma in September, and is replaced by first Marina Rebeka and then by Angela Meade. The mezzo-soprano role of Adalgisa is sung by Joyce DiDonato in the fall, and then by Jamie Barton in the December run. There will also be a change of conductors for both runs; Carlo Rizzi opens the show, and is then replaced by Joseph Colaneri.

Mr. Calleja sang the role of Pollione this past season in a new production at the Royal Opera House. In their review of the show, The Guardian commented, “Calleja, 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.” Tickets are now on sale.

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?