Calleja is a native of Malta, an island nation situated off the coast of Italy that, at approximately 300 km² and with a population of just more than 400,000, is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries.
As one of Malta’s biggest celebrities, Calleja was chosen to be Malta’s first cultural ambassador in 2012.
He grew up speaking English, Italian and Maltese (his mother is of Italian ancestry).
A former shot put, javelin and discus thrower, he grew up in a sports-centric family. He competed on a European level in his teens, and at age seven, was nearly indoctrinated into his grandfather’s and father’s amateur boxing circle. He was also competitive in soccer, basketball and track and field, but turned his focus to music at age 15.
He studied law for one year at Malta’s De La Salle College before deciding to pursue a singing career.
After watching The Great Caruso with tenor Mario Lanza, fourteen-year-old Calleja was inspired to become an opera singer.
A wine connoisseur, Calleja owns over 3,000 bottles of wine and is currently building a cellar for his new house in Malta. His favorite wines are from the St. Emillion region in Bordeaux.
Calleja’s recording of the Verdi aria “La donna e mobile” is featured in the soundtrack to the 2007 movie No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart.
When he’s not singing, Calleja makes a point of unwinding by waterskiing, swimming, fishing and fly-fishing, mostly in Scotland.
He has two children.