August 7, 2015

Pavarotti tribute concerts in Copenhagen and Aarhus

On August 9 and 10, Joseph Calleja gives his final two concerts of the season with two Pavarotti tributes in Denmark in what would have been the year of the operatic legend’s 80th birthday. The Maltese tenor begins on August 9 at the DR Koncerthuset in Copenhagen where he performs some of the late Italian tenor’s most famous arias. He reprises the program at Aarhus’s Musikhuset the following day.

Inspired by the singer early on in his career, Joseph himself has earned numerous comparisons to Pavarotti. “Only one lyric tenor on the scene today has the honeyed tone and ingratiating style to make comparisons to Pavarotti and Gigli seem serious, and it is Calleja,” wrote Russell Platt in The New Yorker. The Times added of the title “the new Pavarotti” that “This title gets lobbed hopefully at plenty of new lyric tenors but there is reason to believe in Calleja.”

August 6, 2015

BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation launches “Growing Through Arts” children’s program

Following a “stupendous” Monday evening concert in Malta (Malta Today), Joseph Calleja continued work in Malta this week with his synonymous BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation. Accompanying Foundation chairman Roderick Chalmers, the Maltese tenor attended the inauguration of an art exhibition, “Art Through the Eyes & Soul of the Child,” at St, Patrick’s Salesian School. Curator and artist Daniela Guevska coached the young artists who participated in the program, which was designed around their individual needs and introduced them to various techniques and media over ten weeks.

The event marked the launch of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation’s “Growing Through Arts” children’s program.

Young members of the BOV Joseph Calleja Children’s Choir were also showcased in Malta this week as part of Joseph’s annual summer concert, held this year at Luxol Grounds in Pembroke and also featuring pop sensation Anastacia and Maltese band Red Electrick. Click here to view excerpts of the concert.

Launched in 2013, the aim of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation is to support talented young performing artists in realizing their full potential as well as providing assistance to underprivileged children whose situations are not catered for by existing social support programs.

July 27, 2015

The Malta Concert: August 3, 2015

In one week, Joseph Calleja returns to Malta for his hotly-anticipated annual summer concert. Taking place this year on August 8 at the Luxol Grounds in Pembroke, the Maltese tenor’s traditional open-air performance is a highlight of each concert season. With the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Joseph offers a selection of favorite arias and songs, alongside this year’s special guest star Anastacia. Malta’s own Red Electric also joins the 2015 festivities.

While some sections of the concert are sold out, remaining tickets can be purchased by clicking here.

Click here to watch Joseph sing “La vie en rose,” performed as part of the 2013 Malta concert.

July 15, 2015

Open-Air Gala at Neuen Rathaus

Joseph Calleja continues his summer concert tour with an open-air performance at Hannover’s Neuen-Rathaus–adjacent Maschpark on Friday, July 17. Marking the second NDR Klassik Open Air, the Maltese Tenor joins the NDR Radio Philharmonic and conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson for a program that includes arias from Un ballo in maschera, La traviata, Il trovatore, Tosca, Carmen, and La Bohème. Click here for more information.

Joseph is next heard in concert in his homeland as part of his annual summer concert series in Malta. This year’s evening of music takes place at the Luxol in Pembroke. Click here for tickets.

July 10, 2015

Joseph reprises acclaimed performance as Pinkerton at Bayerische Staatsoper

On July 13, Joseph Calleja returns to the Bayerische Staatsoper for an encore performance of Madama Butterfly, featuring the Maltese tenor as B.F. Pinkerton. A regular presence on the Munich opera stage, Joseph has also earned further applause from audiences and critics in recent years for his account of Puccini’s caddish antihero.

Joseph reunites with Kristine Opolais in the title role with conductor Daniele Callegari leading the performance, set against the backdrop of Wolf Busse’s production. Joseph returns to the production in September for three more performances before opening Staatsoper’s new production of Boito’s Mefistofele in October.

July 2, 2015

Joseph Calleja continues summer concert series with gala at Chorégies d’Orange

Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja continues his summer concert tour with a gala performance at France’s famed Chorégies d’Orange on July 7. Joined by soprano Ekaterina Siurina, Joseph offers a program of arias and duets from Adriana Lecouvreur, Rigoletto, Macbeth, L’Elisir d’Amore, L’Arlesiana, Tosca, and Roméo et Juliette. Enrique Mazzola leads from the podium.

Joseph’s next concert takes place a few days later in Hannover, Germany, and his summer schedule culminates in his much-anticipated annual evening of music in Malta.

Click here for his full schedule.

June 15, 2015

Return to La Rondine in Berlin

On June 29 and July 3, Joseph Calleja returns to the Deutsche Oper Berlin where he will star in Puccini’s La rondine. As the young lover Ruggero in Puccini’s bittersweet romance, the Maltese tenor performs opposite Dinara Alieva as Magda with Roberto Rizzi Brignoli conducting. The production is directed by Rolando Villazón.

German audiences are no stranger to Joseph’s Ruggero: The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote of a 2010 performance “Calleja sung brilliantly and impressively the part of Ruggero.” The Rhein Main added that his singing “was absolutely world class standard.”

June 12, 2015

June and July concerts in Bratislava, Paris, Amsterdam, Orange, and Hannover

Following a triumphant return to the Royal Opera House for the company’s final performances of John Copley’s La Bohème, Joseph Calleja continues his summer schedule with a series of gala concerts in Slovakia, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. The Maltese tenor begins on June 16 at Bratislava’s Concert Hall of the Slovak Philharmonic with conductor Rastislav Stúr. From there, he joins the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France and maestro Andrew Greenwood for a performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysees on June 19.

Three days later, Joseph teams up with Frédéric Chaslin and Het Gelders Orkest at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw on June 22, before returning to France with a concert at the Chorégies d’Orange on July 7 with Enrique Mazzola and soprano Ekaterina Siurina. He then heads to Hannover for an open-air concert with the NDR Radiophilharmonie, led by Keri-Lynn Wilson, at the Neuen Rathaus on July 17.

Click here for Joseph’s full schedule.

June 5, 2015

Joseph Calleja stars in La Bohème live cinema relay from Royal Opera House June 10

This month, audiences around the world can hear Joseph Calleja in one of his signature roles of Rodolfo in La Bohème when the Royal Opera House broadcasts Puccini’s much-loved tragedy to cinemas worldwide.

Praised by The Guardian for a “passionate, lyrical, beautifully impulsive” performance in this, the final run of John Copley’s iconic production, the Maltese tenor has also earned acclaim in this outing for “the dappled sunlit tone he generates [which] is always a pleasure to hear” (The Telegraph). The Sunday Times added, “I’d rate Netrebko and Calleja as one of the finest pairings since the ideally matched Katia Ricciarelli and Jose Carreras.”

Joseph stars opposite Anna Netrebko as Mimì, with Lucas Meachem as Marcello and Jennifer Rowley as Musetta. Dan Ettinger conducts. June 10 will see a live broadcast across several countries, with encore transmissions scheduled around the world in the weeks to come. Click here to find a screening near you.

May 26, 2015

Joseph “embodies the virtues of traditional Italian tenor singing” in Royal Opera House La Bohème

This past weekend’s revival of La Bohème at the Royal Opera House — the company’s final presentation of John Copley’s iconic production — generated acclaim for Joseph Calleja in the role of Rodolfo. Bachtrack wrote of the premiere that the Maltese tenor “embodies the virtues of traditional Italian tenor singing: warmth and generosity of tone coupled with a voice that never seems to strain.”

“His great charm as both singer and performer won out,” The Telegraph added. “The dappled sunlit tone he generates is always a pleasure to hear.” The Guardian concurred, noting that “Calleja is passionate, lyrical, beautifully impulsive.” Music OMH went on to add “His voice is expansive in tone, while his middle register is particularly fine.”

“Joseph Calleja, from Malta, has matured into an artist of substance – his thrillingly powerful, freely soaring tenor is the real deal,” wrote The Stage, which went on to add, “Opera superstars Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja ensure a great send-off for a venerable production.”

The Sunday Times concluded, “I’d rate Netrebko and Calleja as one of the finest pairings since the ideally matched Katia Ricciarelli and Jose Carreras.”

Joseph continues as Rodolfo, opposite Anna Netrebko as Mimì, through June 10 at Covent Garden. Additionally, June 10’s performance will be relayed into movie theaters around the globe as part of the ROH cinecast season.

For more on the production, click here to read Joseph’s recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar.

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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?