April 19, 2013
After a highly acclaimed performance at the Last Night of the 2012 BBC Proms, Joseph Calleja returns to the beloved summer festival on September 5 for an evening of music celebrating Verdi’s 200th birthday. The program features several of Verdi’s most cherished works from such iconic operas as La traviata, La forza del destino, and Aida. Led by conductor Xian Zhang, the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi joins Joseph for the bicentennial celebration.
Two days later on September 7, Joseph marks the Last Night of the 2013 BBC Proms with British pop star Bryan Ferry in an open-air concert at Hyde Park. For this Proms in the Park event, Joseph joins the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Richard Balcombe with special guests violinist Nigel Kennedy, Sir Terry Wogan, and Dame Edna Everage, who will be leading the traditional sing-a-long.
These performances mark the fourth year in a row that the Maltese tenor has performed at the Proms. Last year, Joseph closed out the Proms with violinist Nicola Benedetti. In 2011, Joseph appeared as a soloist in Verdi’s Requiem, and in 2010 he sang the role of Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra.
April 17, 2013
Tonight Joseph gives his second of two performances as Gabriel Adorno in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra in concert at the Vienna Concert House. The concerts mark the celebration of the composer’s bicentennial. In its review of his performance, the Kurier exclaimed, “What a voice, what poetry, what melodiousness, what radiance!” while Die Presse stated, “There are not many tenors who can sing the role of Adorno as unpretentiously, tastefully, and free of bad habits as Joseph Calleja.” Led by Massimo Zanetti, the all-star cast includes baritone Thomas Hampson as the title character and bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni as Albiani. The concerts will be recorded for international release this fall, when Calleja and Hampson reprise their roles in Simon Boccanegra at the Vienna State Opera.
April 11, 2013
“Ten concerts in ten cities in one month alone. This is Joseph Calleja, widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest living opera singers.” That’s how CNN International introduces Gramophone Artist of the Year Joseph Calleja, the most recent subject of the networks “Road Warriors” feature, which follows the lives of fast-paced professionals on the road. Offering illuminating “behind the scenes” footage of the Maltese tenor, the video may be viewed online here. This segment will receive the first of many television broadcasts today on CNN International’s Business Traveller features show. This “Road Warriors” profile comes on the heels of Calleja’s singular success last month in La bohème at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he starred opposite Anna Netrebko. In its review of La bohème, the Chicago Sun-Times praised his “powerful and idiomatic singing,” while the Chicago Tribune concluded: “It was wonderful…to have Calleja back, especially in a part that’s so congenial for him vocally and that he inhabits with such winning energy. The tenoral sound he poured out on Saturday was gleaming, even and powerful, its quick vibrato apt for conveying Rodolfo’s passionate and volatile nature. … Calleja earned the torrent of applause he received.” On the road again, the tenor may now be heard in concert performances of Simon Boccanegra opposite baritone Thomas Hampson in the title role at the Vienna Konzerthaus, in honor of this year’s Verdi bicentennial (April 13 & 17).
April 9, 2013
Joseph will sing Gabriele Adorno in a concert version of Verdi’s Simone Boccanegra alongside Thomas Hampson in the title role on April 13 & 17. The strong cast includes Kristine Opolais, Carlo Colombara and Luca Pisaroni. Conducted by Massimo Zanetti, the performances at Vienna Konzerthaus will be recorded for later CD release. Read more
March 6, 2013
Joseph returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago on March 9 when he brings his celebrated portrayal of Rodolfo to life opposite Anna Netrebko’s ill-fated Mimi in a new-to-chicago production of La bohème. Under the direction of Louisa Muller, Netrebko and Calleja will head a strong cast, with Elizabeth Futral as Musetta, Lucas Meacham as Marcello, Andrea Silvestrelli as Colline, and Emmanuel Villaume on the podium (March 9–28). As Rodolfo at London’s Royal Opera House last May, The Guardian reported, “Calleja is glorious throughout,” and The Times observed, “Calleja’s Rodolfo justly won the lion’s share of the ovations. The Maltese tenor stands out in the current crop of singers for his scrupulous musicianship and sweet tone: this is a deeply classy voice, and it hits a sweet spot in Rodolfo’s passionate music…” His highly-praised interpretation of Rodolfo’s first act aria and duet can be heard on his 2011 recording, The Maltese Tenor.
February 25, 2013
Joseph Calleja returns to the stage of Munich’s Nation Theatre tonight and tomorrow for gala concerts of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great Italian composer. For these two sold-out performances, Zubin Mehta leads the Bavarian State Orchestra, the Chorus of the Bavarian State Opera, and an exceptional quartet of soloists that in addition to the Maltese tenor includes soprano Krassima Stoyanova, mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, and bass Kwangchul Youn.
The concerts follow Joseph’s successful run at the Bavarian State Opera last week as Tebaldo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi. For those who missed the performances, Joseph’s “rich and sonorous” (Interchanging Idioms) portrayal of Tebaldo can be heard on Deutsche Grammophon’s recording of I Capuleti e i Montecchi with Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanča.
January 14, 2013
Fresh from his highly-praised portrayal of the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Bavarian State Opera, Joseph began his European concert tour on Friday night making his debut at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Andrew Greenwood, he performed a program featuring selections from his latest album for Decca, Be My Love: A Tribute to Mario Lanza. The critics rejoiced, writing that Joseph’s performance “hits you in a way that bypasses the brain and goes straight to the hairs on the back of your neck” (The Times UK), while “the two arias from Tosca flowed with great naturalness, and he brought the house down with sterling renditions of well-known pieces from Cavalleria Rusticana and Fedora” (The Guardian).
The tour continues this evening in Pamplona followed by concerts in Paris (January 18), Munich (January 21), Prague (January 24), Vienna (January 28), Amsterdam (January 31), and Baden-Baden (February 3).
Visit Joseph’s schedule for a full list of appearances.
December 17, 2012
Joseph kicks off the New Year performing selections from his new Decca recording, Be My Love: A Tribute to Mario Lanza, in concerts across Europe. The eight-city tour begins at London’s Royal Festival Hall on January 11 and continues with concerts in Pamplona (January 14), Paris (January 18), Munich (January 21), Prague (January 24), Vienna (January 28), Amsterdam (January 31), and Baden-Baden (February 3). When the album was released earlier this year, it topped charts in several countries and became the first classical recording to claim the number one position on the pop chart in Denmark. In its review of Be My Love, WQXR.com wrote that Joseph’s “Björling-like tenor is a bespoke fit to Lanza’s old time opera-meets-Hollywood religion,” and the Times (UK) affirmed that “these throbbing ballads will delight Calleja’s fans.”
November 21, 2012
This December, Joseph brings his celebrated portrayal of the Duke of Mantua to life in the Bavarian State Opera’s new production of Verdi’s Rigoletto by the critically acclaimed Hungarian director Árpád Schilling. Conducted by Marco Armiliato, the performances also star Franco Vassallo as the cursed Rigoletto and Patricia Petibon as Rigoletto’s newly discovered daughter Gilda. After returning to the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 as the Duke, the role of Joseph’s Met debut in 2006, Robert Levine of Classics Today said, “I can’t think of another tenor who sings this role better.” For those who are unable to make it to Munich, the Bavarian State Opera will offer a free live web stream of the opening night performance on December 15 on BR-Klassik. In July, Joseph revisits the role of the Duke at the Munich Opera Festival 2013.
November 6, 2012
Last Friday, the University of Malta bestowed upon Joseph Calleja a Doctor of Literature Honoris Causa in recognition of his achievements as one of the world’s finest tenors. Upon receiving this honor, Jospeh said, “I am very much a Maltese product, I am very proud of my heritage, it is genuine love I feel for this nation.” In a statement, the University’s Professor Friggieri said that Joseph was making it possible for millions of people around the globe “to have their lives enriched, their consciousness heightened, and their experience intensified by being exposed to the beauty and power of his voice. We as a nation are justifiably proud of his achievement. The University of Malta is the first academic institution to grant him an honorary degree. It will certainly not be the last.” Read the Times of Malta article here.