March 14, 2016

2016-17 Season Announcement: Joseph Calleja revives Mefistofele in Munich

Following a critically acclaimed role debut as Boito’s Faust, Joseph Calleja will return to the Bayerische Staatsoper for a revival of the composer’s Mefistofele in November.

Presented as part of the company’s recently announced 2016-17 season, the three performances on November 4, 7, and 10 will see the Maltese tenor opposite Erwin Schrott in the title role with Ausrine Stundyte as Margherita, Karine Babajanyan as Elena, and Andrea Borghini as Wagner. Paolo Carignani conducts Roland Schwab’s production.

Joseph is also heard as Faust for two additional presentations of Mefistofele in the Staatsoper’s current season when it is seen this summer on July 21 and 24, featuring René Pape in the title role.

March 10, 2016

Spring highlights in New York, Stratford-upon-Avon, and Frankfurt

Following an acclaimed return to Lyric Opera of Chicago, Joseph Calleja heads to New York for a revival of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra at the Metropolitan Opera. Reprising the role of Gabriele Adorno, the Maltese tenor stars opposite the legendary Plácido Domingo in the title role in performances heard on April 1, 5, 9, 13, and 16.

While in New York, Joseph is also honored as one of five 2016 Opera News Awards laureates in an April 10th black-tie gala celebration. Fellow award recipients include Anna Netrebko, Elīna Garanča, Waltraud Meier, and José van Dam.

A few days after his time in New York, Joseph joins soprano Angel Blue and pianist Roger Vignoles for a special concert at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon celebrating the 400th birth-anniversary of Shakespeare. Joseph and Angel offer an evening of arias and duets from works inspired by Shakespeare’s canon on April 16.

In June, Joseph makes his second role debut of his 2016-17 season when he stars as Don José in Carmen at Frankfurt Opera. In a production by Barrie Kosky, Joseph stars opposite Paula Murrihy in the title role of Bizet’s ill-fated romance from June 5 to July 3.

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

March 7, 2016

Joseph Calleja awarded Honorary Membership of Royal Academy of Music

Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja has been named one of the 2016 inductees into the Royal Academy of Music’s Honorary Members. A regular presence on London’s opera and concert stages, Joseph joins a roster that includes Bryn Terfel, Joan Sutherland, Paul McCartney, Nicolai Gedda, Joyce DiDonato, and Plácido Domingo.

The elite membership is limited to 300 members with the award to be presented by the Duchess of Gloucester in July.

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.

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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?