February 29, 2016

“Robust passion” with a “megawatt tenor” in Roméo et Juliette at Lyric Opera of Chicago

Joseph Calleja’s Romeo in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new Roméo et Juliette has earned the Maltese tenor acclaim for a “megawatt tenor,” “robust passion,” and an “effortlessly clarion sound.”

“Calleja cut a suitably dashing, Byronesque figure and produced a big, bright, effortlessly clarion sound that rang to thrilling effect in Romeo’s balcony-scene cavatina ‘Ah! leve-toi, soleil!’ The Maltese tenor also summoned palpable anguish for his Act 3 finale ‘Ah! jour de deuil,’” wrote the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune also praised “the robust passion he poured into his portrayal of the doomed hero,” and noted that the “detailed direction” of the production allowed “[this] appealing singing [actor] to penetrate deeply into the music, French text, and dramatic scheme.”

“Joseph Calleja sings splendidly, reminiscent of Alfredo Kraus in quieter moments,” wrote New City Stage. Bachtrack added that the Maltese tenor “makes the role brawny and sympathetic, crackling from the first note with a megawatt tenor that doesn’t let up.” “When Joseph Calleja as Romeo (at performances through March 8) joins [Susanna Phillips as Juliet] in their first duet, it’s no less than pure joy to hear,” noted

Roméo et Juliette continues at Lyric Opera of Chicago with Joseph in the title role through March 8. Click here to see the trailer. 

February 17, 2016

Joseph Calleja returns to Metropolitan Opera in Rigoletto for 2016-17 season

As announced by the company earlier today, Joseph Calleja returns to the Metropolitan Opera for the 2016-17 season. The Maltese tenor revisits the role of the Duke of Mantova in the company’s revival of Rigoletto, starring in Michael Mayer’s Vegas-inspired production. Joseph sings opposite Olga Peretyatko as Gilda and Zeljko Lucic in the title role April 19, 22, and 27. Pier Giorgio Morando conducts.

Click here for Joseph’s schedule, and continue to check back for additional dates as more seasons are announced.

January 15, 2016

Southbank Centre Concert

On January 22, Joseph Calleja returns to London for a Southbank Centre concert held at Royal Festival Hall.

The Maltese tenor brings with him a selection of his favorite arias from the canon of Verdi, including selections from Rigoletto, La traviata, Simon Boccanegra, Un ballo in maschera, and Macbeth. Joseph is joined by the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Ramón Tebar.

Click here for ticket information.

December 23, 2015

January performances in La Bohème at Berlin Staatsoper

Joseph Calleja begins 2016 with a return to Germany. At Berlin’s Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, the Maltese tenor reprises his signature role of Rodolfo in La Bohème, giving performances as Puccini’s penniless poet January 8, 16, and 19.

Under the baton of Domingo Hindoyan, Joseph stars opposite Sonya Yoncheva as Mimì, with Anna Samuil as Musetta and Arttu Kataja as Marcello in a production by Lindy Hume. January 19’s closing event will also be a Staatsoper Family Performance.

Click here for more info.

December 10, 2015

Opera News announces honorees of 2016 award

Joseph Calleja joins prominent members of the opera community as an honoree of the 2016 Opera News Award. The Maltese tenor has been lauded as “one of the finest lyric tenors in the world” (Opera News) and will be presented the award at the April 10 gala at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Opera News recognized five singers this year, honoring Elina Garanca, Waltraud Meier, Anna Netrebko, and José van Dam. Tickets for this gala evening are tax deductible and available on The Metropolitan Opera Guild website.

December 8, 2015

Third annual Maltese Christmas concert December 20

For the third year running, Joseph Calleja will presents his Christmas concert to raise funds for the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. The Maltese tenor will perform at San Pawl tat-Targa’s Divine Mercy Chapel on December 20.

In what’s becoming a tradition on par with his annual summer concert, Joseph will be accompanied by a number of artists who are currently benefitting from the Foundation’s support of musically-gifted young artists.

Click here for tickets.

December 7, 2015

Gala concerts in Moscow and Düsseldorf

On December 13 and 18, Joseph Calleja gives two gala concerts. Beginning at Moscow’s Novaya Opera on December 13, the Maltese tenor offers a signature program of arias and song alongside conductor Constantine Orbelian and the Orchestra of the Novaya Opera Theatre.

On December 18, Joseph is heard at Düsseldorf’s famed Tonhalle opposite soprano Hibla Gerzmava in an evening of arias and duets. In addition to solo works from Tosca and Adriana Lecouvreur, Joseph gives duets with Gerzmava from La Bohème and La Traviata as well as music for the Advent season.

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

November 20, 2015

Winter highlights in Berlin, Moscow, Düsseldorf, London, and Chicago

Following a highly-acclaimed role debut as Boito’s Faust in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s company premiere of Mefistofele, Joseph Calleja looks forward to operas and concerts in the US and Europe in the coming months.

The Maltese tenor returns to Germany for a concert at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf on December 18, which is preceded by a gala at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on December 13.

December 20 finds Joseph in Malta for his annual Christmas concert to benefit the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, given at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in San Pawl tat-Targa. The event marks Joseph’s third annual holiday concert in his home country.

Joseph begins 2016 back in Berlin at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater where he sings Rodolfo in three performances of La Bohème January 8, 16, and 19. Following a concert at the Southbank Centre in London on January 22, he then returns to the United States for Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Lyric Opera of Chicago, February 22 through March 8.

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

November 10, 2015

Bayerische Staatsoper’s sold-out Mefistofele, starring Joseph Calleja, webcast live on November 15

On November 15, the Bayerische Staatsoper webcasts its sold-out run of Mefistofele, starring Joseph Calleja as Faust, on Staatsoper.TV. The company’s premiere of Boito’s grand take on the legendary deal with the devil marks the Maltese tenor’s first time in the role, which has been met with tremendous acclaim from audiences and critics alike.

In Roland Schwab’s production, Joseph stars opposite René Pape in the title role and Kristine Opolais as Margherita. Omer Meir Wellber conducts.

To view the free livestream, tune in here at 7:00 pm CET on Saturday, November 15.

(Photo: Wilfried Hösl)

November 6, 2015

Joseph Calleja triumphs in role debut at Bayerische Staatsoper

Joseph Calleja’s first performances as Boito’s Faust in Mefistofele have earned the Maltese tenor acclaim from audiences and critics:

“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)

“Toll ist auch Joseph Callejas Faust, alles klingt fein und dynamisch.” (Deutschlandradio Kultur)

“Für das Himmlische an diesem Abend ist Faust zuständig – mit der Stimme von Joseph Calleja: Leichtigkeit, Eleganz und Leuchtkraft, Sicherheit und endlose Bögen – Joseph Callejas Tenor hat alles. Er liebt und leidet. Calleja spielt kaum, aber das schadet nicht an diesem vor Aktionismus überschäumenden Abend.” (Bayerische Rundfunk)

Mefistofele continues at the Bayerische Staatsoper through November 15, with the final performance webcast via the Staatsoper’s website.

Joseph also earned acclaim for his recent concert at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper on November 3, which ushered in the 2015 European Central Bank’s Kulturtage, which was this year dedicated to Malta.

“Weich bis in die Spitzen sind seine hohen Töne, gut gemacht sein Einsatz der Kopfstimme, und nachgerade großartig seine Ausgestaltung des „O figli, o figli miei!“ aus Giuseppe Verdis „Macbeth“ – der Oper übrigens, mit der er als 19-Jähriger auf der Opernbühne debütiert hatte. Ohne jeden Druck in der Stimme, offenbar mit riesigen Reserven. Nicht einmal bei der obligatorischen „O sole mio“-Zugabe mit ihren üblichen „wer kann länger“-Spielchen schwillt ihm die Halsschlagader. Gesünder kann man das nicht singen.” (Frankfurter Rundschau)

(Photo: Wilfried Hösl)

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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?