February 12, 2017
“There is some fine singing, most notably that of Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as Don Jose, the callow young corporal whose obsession with the Gypsy seductress Carmen spells his doom … and Italian lyric soprano Eleonora Buratto as Micaela, his village sweetheart, who tries to rescue him from Carmen’s clutches. Both proved to be the real deal heading the cast fielded by Lyric Opera on Saturday night, under the spirited and sympathetic baton of Harry Bicket …
If ever there was an opera role made to order for Calleja’s superb tenor, it’s Don Jose. The part may be a relatively recent addition to his repertory, but vocally and dramatically he gripped one’s attention as the young man’s passion for Carmen became more and more desperate, his jealousy more heated the more she rebuffed him. The clarion heft of his sound was tempered by an elegant legato, sensitive phrasing and feel for the drama. His shift to head voice and lovely diminuendo at the close of the Flower Song were well managed, earning him a warm ovation.”
John von Rhein – Chicago Tribune
January 16, 2017
Joseph Calleja stars as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen, this season at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Performances take place February 11, 15, 19, 22 & 28 and March 3 & 6 at Chicago’s Civic Opera House, featuring a new-to-Chicago production directed by Rob Ashford. Ekaterina Gubanova sings the title role, with Eleonora Burrato as Micaëla, and Christian van Horn as Escamillo. Maestro Harry Bicket leads the acclaimed Lyric Opera Orchestra for all dates listed above.
January 4, 2017
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.
December 17, 2016
Joseph Calleja returns to Berlin in the new year to star in a signature role, Rodolfo in Puccini’s timeless La Bohème. He takes the stage on January 3 & 6, in a cast that also features Carmen Giannattasio as Mimì, Alexandra Hutton as Musetta, and Markus Brück sings Marcello. Conductor Ivan Repusic leads from the pit, for this Götz Friedrich-directed staging.
November 17, 2016
Joseph Calleja takes the stage at the Teatru Manoel on December 7, to raise funds for his eponymous BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. Since 2013, Calleja has worked in tandem with the Bank of Valletta to guide the Foundation, which supports Maltese young artists and children in need.
The concert highlights performances by Mr. Calleja as well as several of the Foundation’s scholars, accompanied by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra led by Maestro Brian Schemer. The evening also features a post-concert reception at the Casino Maltese. Purchase your tickets for this not-to-be-missed event via the following link, and read a feature by The Malta Independent for additional information.
November 2, 2016
Joseph Calleja stars as Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele on a new DVD/Blu-ray release from the Bayerische Staatsoper and C Major Entertainment. The recording was taken live from the premiere production in 2015, which was designed and directed by Roland Schwab, along with musical direction from conductor Omer Meir Wellber. René Pape sings the title role with Kristine Opolais as Margherita on this must-have video capture, which is now available for pre-order via Amazon.com (international release on November 18). Watch the video preview and purchase your copy today!
October 20, 2016
Joseph Calleja reprises his critically lauded portrayal of Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele, at the Bayerische Staatsoper – November 4, 7 & 10. Erwin Schrott sings the title role and Ausrine Stundyte is Margherita, in a production designed and directed by Roland Schwab, with Maestro Paolo Carignani leading the Bayerische Staatsorchester.
Mr. Calleja’s performances as Faust last season in Munich were heralded for his “tremendous vocal presence” (Merkur) which highlighted the “elegance and luminosity” (Bayerische Rundfunk) of his thrilling vocalism and stage presence.
October 9, 2016
On October 22 & 23, Joseph Calleja will be the featured tenor soloist for Verdi’s Requiem, in two sold-out concerts at the Musikverein Wien. Philippe Jordan leads the Wiener Symphoniker and Wiener Singverein for these events, which also include soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Elena Zhidkova, and bass Ferruccio Furlanetto. Standing room tickets have now been made available for the performances – purchase at the following link.
Mr. Calleja and Mr. Furlanetto have previously performed the Requiem together, in concert at the BBC Proms. Enjoy the following video recording from the 2011 Proms, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Choruses and conductor Semyon Bychkov.
September 19, 2016
Following his opening of the company’s 2016-17 season earlier this month, Joseph Calleja now opens the Royal Opera House’s Live Cinema Season on Monday, September 26. The ROH broadcasts the Maltese tenor’s role debut as Pollione in Norma in a new production by Àlex Ollé of La Fura dels Baus.
Joseph stars opposite Sonya Yoncheva in the title role, with Sonia Ganassi as Adalgisa and Brindley Sherratt as Oroveso. Antonio Pappano conducts.
“Calleja is in splendidly ringing voice,” wrote The Times of Joseph’s performance as the Roman proconsul. “His timelessly beautiful voice has never sounded better,” added The i Paper.
September 13, 2016
Joseph Calleja “a throwback to the age of Björling, Gigli, and Tagliavini” in role debut as Pollione
Following last night’s opening of the Royal Opera House’s 2016-17 season in his role debut as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma, Joseph Calleja has earned acclaim from audiences and critics alike. “[His] warm vibrato and liquid golden tone is a throwback to the age of Björling, Gigli and Tagliavini,” wrote Bachtrack, which went on to note that the Maltese tenor’s performance “almost made Pollione sympathetic, despite being the love-rat in the nest.”
“Calleja is in splendidly ringing voice,” added The Times, while The i Paper noted “his timelessly beautiful voice has never sounded better.”
“Joseph Calleja was back in cracking form as Pollione, a viciously uningratiating role of which he never made heavy weather,” wrote The Telegraph. “I’ve seldom heard ‘Meco all’altar di venere’ so confidently dispatched.”
“Joseph Calleja makes a strong and clear Pollione, at his best when he sings with the light and shade of which he is capable,” added the Financial Times.
The Guardian concluded that Joseph, “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.”
(Photo: Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House)