January 16, 2017

‘Carmen’ at Lyric Opera of Chicago

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.

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January 4, 2017

Celebrating Malta at the BOZAR in Brussels

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.

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December 17, 2016

Calleja stars as Rodolfo in Puccini’s ‘La Bohème’

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.

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November 17, 2016

BOV Joseph Calleja Fundraising Concert

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

New DVD/Blu-ray release of ‘Mefistofele’ featuring Joseph Calleja as Faust

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 (international release on November 18). Watch the video preview and purchase your copy today!

October 20, 2016

Boito’s ‘Mefistofele’ at the Bayerische Staatsoper

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.

Enjoy a video trailer of the production, and a video interview with Mr. Calleja where he discusses the music of ‘Mefistofele’ and its place in the operatic canon.

October 9, 2016

Sold-out performances of Verdi’s Requiem at the Musikverein

On October 22 & 23Joseph 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

Joseph Calleja opens ROH Live Cinema Season in Norma

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.

Click here to find a Norma screening near you.

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

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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?