News

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.”

Norma continues at the Royal Opera House with performances on September 16 ,20, 23, 26, and October 1, 4, and 8.

September 26’s performance will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the ROH Live Cinema season.

(Photo: Bill Cooper/Royal Opera House)

September 7, 2016

Joseph Calleja sings “Caruso”

Hommage à Luciano Pavarotti – Culturebox

August 25, 2016

Joseph Calleja opens Royal Opera House season with role debut in new production of Norma

Joseph Calleja kicks off his 2016-17 season with a new role in a new production at the Royal Opera House. Singing Pollione in Bellini’s Norma for the first time, the Maltese tenor stars in a production helmed by Àlex Ollé of La Fura dels Baus. The new take on this bel canto classic will also launch the Royal Opera House’s season.

Joseph stars opposite Sonya Yoncheva in the title role, with Sonia Ganassi rounding out the love triangle as Adalgisa. Antonio Pappano conducts the performances, which take place September 12, 16 ,20, 23, 26, and October 1, 4, and 8.

September 26’s performance will be broadcast live in cinemas as part of the ROH Live Cinema season.

August 10, 2016

2016-17 season highlights include role debut in London, Verdi in Vienna, and more in Munich, Berlin, Chicago & New York

Following a landmark 2015-16 season that was bookended by two role debuts as Boito’s Mefistofele and Bizet’s Don José, Joseph Calleja launches his 2016-17 season with another major role debut as Pollione in Bellini’s Norma at the Royal Opera House.

The Maltese tenor stars opposite Sonya Yoncheva in the title role in a new season-opening production for Covent Garden (September 12, 16, 20, 23, 26; October 1, 4, 8). September 26’s performance will be simulcast in cinemas as part of the ROH Live series.

New Roles
Hot on the heels of his role debut in Frankfurt, Joseph returns to Don José with his first U.S. performances of the role in a new production of Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago (February 11, 15, 19, 22, 28; March 3, 6). He also reprises Boito’s Faust at the Bayerische Staatsoper (November 4, 7, 10).

Old Favorites
Verdi and Puccini also factor into Joseph’s season schedule, beginning with the former’s Requiem performed at Vienna’s Musikverein (October 22, 23). Following a reprisal of Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème in Berlin (January 3, 6), Joseph once again revisits Verdi for another of his signature roles, that of the Duke of Mantova in Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera (April 19, 22, 27).

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule and continue to check back as more concert and opera details are announced.

July 28, 2016

Sign up for Joseph’s e-newsletter and be entered to win a four-pack of signed CDs

Stay in touch with Joseph Calleja to get the latest news on recordings, broadcasts, and more — and to sweeten the pot, be entered to win a four-pack of the Maltese tenor’s latest recordings, each one signed by Joseph. One grand-prize winner will take home Simon Boccanegra (2013), Amore (2013), Be My Love (2012), and The Maltese Tenor (2011). Three runners-up will each win an autographed copy of Amore. Use the form below to enter.

July 22, 2016

Annual summer concert in Malta on July 28 with Antonello Venditti and Suzanne Vega

Joseph Calleja’s annual Maltese summer concert takes place this year on July 28 at Fosos in Floriana. An annual tradition for the home-grown tenor and one of the highlights of his performance calendar, this year’s guest lineup features two legendary singer-songwriters representing Italy and the United States: Antonello Venditti and Suzanne Vega.

Steven Mercurio leads the evening from the podium with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Also featured is the BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir, under the direction of Gillian Zammit.

For the fourth consecutive year, the ticketed concert will include a standing area free and open to the public. Click here for more information on tickets.

Click here for a video playlist of past Maltese summer concerts with performances by Joseph and special guests.

July 18, 2016

Brokering another deal with the devil, Joseph Calleja stars in Mefistofele with Münchner Opernfestspiele

Following his role debut as Boito’s Faust with the company at the beginning of the 2015-16 season, Joseph Calleja returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper’s production of Mefistofele presented as part of the Münchner Opernfestspiele July 21 and 24.

“Dafür singt Calleja, wie man es sich hinreißender nicht vorstellen kann. Wenn er den Mund aufmacht, scheint es, als ob auf der Bühne das Licht angeknipst wird. … enormer stimmlicher Präsenz, wachsweichen Phrasen, musterhaft entwickelten Höhen, mit einer einsam leuchtenden vokalen Qualität.” (Merkur)

The Maltese tenor stars opposite René Pape in the title role with Kristine Opolais as Margherita, Heike Grötzinger as Marta, and Andrea Borghini as Wagner. The revival of Roland Schwab’s production reunites the cast with conductor Omer Meir Wellber. Limited tickets remain.

Joseph will also return to the same role in Munich as part of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s 2016-17 season with performances on November 4, 7, and 10.

(Photo: Wilfried Hösl)

July 8, 2016

Joseph Calleja solos in Verdi Requiem at Chorégies d’Orange

On July 16, Joseph Calleja returns to Orange, France for an open-air performance of Verdi’s mighty Requiem with the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. A frequent interpreter of the work, the Maltese tenor is joined by soprano Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano Ekaterina Gubanova, and bass Vitalij Kowaljow and the Choir of the Orfeón Donostiarra.

Tugan Sokhiev conducts the performance, which carries a rain date of July 17. Click here for additional information.

June 24, 2016

In concert with Bryn Terfel at 70th Llangollen International Musical Festival

Having invited the Welsh bass-baritone to join him for his annual summer concert in Malta in 2014, Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja now joins Terfel for a concert in his home country as part of the Llangollen International Musical Festival.

Now in its 70th year, the Festival hosts the two singers on July 7 with the Sinfonia Cymru and conductor Gareth Jones for a classical gala of arias and duets. Mezzo-soprano and fellow Welsh singer Eirlys Myfanwy Davis, also appears on the lineup.

Click here for ticket information.

(Photo: Bill Cooper)

May 24, 2016

Role debut as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen

In a 2015-16 season bookended by role debuts, beginning with Faust in Boito’s Mefistofele, Joseph Calleja now sings his first Don José in Bizet’s Carmen with Oper Frankfurt.

In a production by Barrie Kosky conducted by Constantinos Carydis, the Maltese tenor stars opposite Paula Murrihy in the tempestuous title role. Karen Vuong sings José’s sweetheart Micaëla, and Daniel Schmutzhard is the toreador Escamillo.

Joseph can be heard in the role June 5, 10, 15, 19, 25, and 29 and July 3; he is also scheduled to reprise the role with Lyric Opera of Chicago in the company’s 2016-17 season.

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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?