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)

October 30, 2015

Macbeth, starring Joseph Calleja, now available via Deutsche Grammophon

The Metropolitan Opera’s 2014 production of Macbeth, starring Joseph Calleja in the heroic role of Macduff, is now available worldwide on DVD and Blu-ray. The revival of Adrian Noble’s gritty take on Verdi’s opera opened the Met Live in HD season and earned Joseph acclaim in his “luxuriously cast” role (Financial Times).

In the Scottish opera, the Maltese tenor stars opposite Zeljko Lucic in the title role, Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, and René Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts.

Click here to order Macbeth.

(Photo: Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera)


October 28, 2015

Joseph featured in Wine Spectator magazine

The October 31 issue of Wine Spectator profiles Joseph Calleja’s extensive wine cellar. Likening oenophiles to operaphiles, the magazine notes “As Calleja has grown into a more seasoned Bordeaux connoisseur, he’s discovered more and more parallels between the development of a fine wine and that of a distinctive voice. Both winemakers and opera singers need raw material of exceptional quality and distinction. For winemakers, it is a vineyard’s terroir; for singers, it is a voice’s timbre. Both vocations involve long periods of development to reach excellence. Both reward consistency.”

Joseph adds in the interview, “No great career has come out of one performance, and no great house has earned its reputation from one vintage.”

Read more on Joseph’s 4,100-bottle collection (including a 1942 Château Lafite Rothschild) here.

October 3, 2015

Macbeth, starring Joseph Calleja, available on DVD and Blu-ray from Deutsche Grammophon this month

On October 30, Deutsche Grammophon releases the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD transmission of Macbeth, starring Joseph Calleja as Macduff, on DVD and Blu-ray. The Maltese tenor was hailed as “luxuriously cast” as the hero in Verdi’s Shakespearean drama by the Financial Times, which added: “The timbre of Joseph Calleja’s plangent tenor is highly distinctive yet underscores the depths of Macduff’s despair in lamenting the loss of wife and children to Macbeth’s despotic reign.” Additionally, the New York Times dubbed Joseph in “ardent, excellent voice.”

In an all-star cast, Joseph stars opposite Zeljko Lucic in the title role, Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth, and René Pape (his current Mefistofele costar in Munich) as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts.

Click here to preorder Macbeth.

October 1, 2015

Role debut as Boito’s Faust in new Mefistofele at Bayerische Staatsoper

This month, Joseph Calleja makes his role debut as Boito’s Faust in a new production of Mefistofele for the Bayerische Staatsoper. No stranger to the Goethe-based tale of a man who makes a deal with the devil thanks to his account of Gounod’s Faust, the Maltese tenor now turns to Boito’s work, staged by Roland Schwab and conducted by Omer Meir Wellber.

Joseph stars opposite Kristine Opolais as Margherita and René Pape in the title role. Andrea Borghini sings the role of Wagner.

Mefistofele opens October 24 and continues in Munich through November 15, with November 15’s performance scheduled for webcast on Staatsoper.TV. Joseph returns to the role in 2016 for two further encore performances July 21 and 24.

September 17, 2015

Returning to Bayerische Staatsoper, Joseph Calleja stars in Madama Butterfly and Mefistofele

This week, Joseph Calleja returns to his acclaimed role of B.F. Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in three performances at the Bayerische Staatsoper (September 19, 22, and 27). The Maltese tenor stars opposite soprano Hui He in the title role, with Okka von Damerau singing Suzuki and Levente Molnár as Sharpless. Keri-Lynn Wilson conducts the performances of Wolf Busse’s production.

Joseph is also heard in Munich this fall in a new production of Mefistofele. Making his role debut as Boito’s Faust, he opens the production opposite René Pape in the title role in October.

September 2, 2015

2015-16: Role debuts in Boito and Bizet, plus returns to New York, Germany, Chicago, and beyond

Joseph Calleja’s 2015-16 season is highlighted by new productions in Munich and Frankfurt, alongside returns to Berlin, New York, and Chicago. The Maltese tenor begins his calendar of performances at the Bayerische Staatsoper where, following three encore performances as Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (September 19-27), he opens a new production of Boito’s Mefistofele, singing his first Faust opposite René Pape in the title role (October 24-November 15).

Germany is also the setting for a trio of performances as Rodolfo in La Bohème at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater in the new year (January 8-19). An additional German engagement comes in the form of a new production of Bizet’s Carmen (June 5-July 3) in Frankfurt. This also marks his debut in the role of Don José.

In the United States, Joseph graces the stages of the Metropolitan Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, beginning with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette in the Windy City (February 22-March 8). At the Met, Joseph reprises his acclaimed account of Gabriele Adorno in Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, alongside Plácido Domingo as the eponymous doge (April 1-16).

Joseph is also active on the concert stage in the coming months, with performances in Moscow, London, Düsseldorf, Orange, and beyond.

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

August 27, 2015

Keep in touch with Joseph Calleja

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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?