Press

July 12, 2012

Les Contes d’Hoffmann | The Metropolitan Opera via Fathom Events

MELANIE O’NEILL, EXAMINER.COM

“Calleja sang the role with impressive charisma for a debut role. His bright voice could carry a pretty tune, but also gush with passion when appropriate.”

 

May 1, 2012

La Bohème | Royal Opera House

DANIEL ROSS, THE ARTS DESK

Calleja’s admirably tempered aria “Che gelida manina” is far stronger than Giannattasio’s answering “Si, mi chiamano Mimi”, and the audience lets them know with their applause. Still, we’re engaged enough and invested thanks to Calleja and his cohorts (particularly the affably boyish charm of Fabio Capitanucci’s Marcello). Read more

March 15, 2012

The Maltese Tenor (CD-Review)

SCOTT BARNES, OPERA NEWS

“Calleja sings especially well in the French-language selections: in Faust, Hoffmann and Manon he manages the tricky feat of projecting plausible-sounding French without resorting to nasality or any restriction of his beautifully open sound…. Read more

January 15, 2012

Faust | The Metropolitan Opera, January 2012

ZACHARY WOOLFE, THE NEW YORK TIMES

January 15, 2012

“But there’s one good reason to revisit this “Faust”: the tenor Joseph Calleja, who has replaced Jonas Kaufmann in the title role. Mr. Calleja has one of the loveliest voices in opera right now, pure, sunny and strong, but with a ringing vibration — even the slightest quaver — at its core that comes across as vulnerable rather than unsteady. Faust’s floating exclamation “O merveille!,” when Méphistophélès grants him his first vision of youth, was all quiet astonishment; his great aria “Salut, demeure” was beautifully controlled.” Read more

October 25, 2011

“The Maltese Tenor” Launch at Le Poisson Rouge, October 2011

VIVIEN SCHWEITZER, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“Opera recitals are usually relatively formal affairs, so it was a treat to hear Mr. Calleja, 33, a tenor from Malta, in such an intimate space. He charmed the audience with jokes and anecdotes during the one-hour event, accompanied by Steven Mercurio conducting an orchestra squashed onto the small stage.” […]

“Mr. Calleja’s passionate interpretations here were also distinguished by his beautiful phrasing, alluring in his ardent rendition of “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s “Tosca,” and “Forse, la soglia attinse” from Verdi’s “Ballo in Maschera” and “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Massenet’s “Werther.””

July 25, 2011

Prom 13: Verdi Requiem | Royal Albert Hall

TIM ASHLEY, THE GUARDIAN

25 July 2011

“Calleja’s penetrating, elegant tenor was ravishing in both Ingemisco and Hostias…”

March 10, 2011

Lucia di Lammermoor | The Metropolitan Opera, 2011

MIKE SILVERMAN, ASSOCIATED PRESS

February 25, 2011

Tenor Joseph Calleja, in his third leading role at the Met this season, sang an Edgardo of exceptional elegance. In their Act 1 love duet, his honeyed tones blended beautifully with Dessay’s leaner sound. When he burst into the wedding scene to denounce Lucia for betraying him, his singing was anguished without ever turning strident. And Calleja was at his best in the final scene, when Edgardo pours out his grief in a heartbreaking two-part aria, before stabbing himself so he can join Lucia in death. This was golden age vocalism, pure and simple. Read more

January 10, 2011

Rigoletto | The Metropolitan Opera, January 2011

ROBERT LEVINE, CLASSICS TODAY

“The “veteran” in the group is Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as the Duke of Mantua. Still in his early 30s, he has made quite a name for himself since his impressive debut at the Met in this same role in 2006. And happy to report, Mr Calleja has gained in stature and confidence while maintaining his always appealing, easily recognizable tone, with its fast vibrato and easy top notes. His smooth legato was always in evidence, particularly in his duet with Gilda and in his second act aria, where he genuinely seems to be in love with her. And he tossed off “La donna e mobile” almost conversationally. I can’t think of another tenor who sings this role better.” Read more

December 11, 2010

La Boheme | The Metropolitan Opera, December 2010

MIKE SILVERMAN, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

“Singing their roles for the first time here Wednesday night, Joseph Calleja as the poet Rodolfo and Krassimira Stoyanova as the tubercular seamstress Mimi managed to overcome these obstacles and give performances that were moving in their sincerity and directness. Calleja, a Maltese tenor still in his early 30s, has a voice unlike anyone else on the operatic scene today. A rapid vibrato gives his sound an alluring sweetness, and in recent years he has refined his technique so that the quality is consistent throughout his range, up to high C. On Wednesday, there was an irresistible tenderness to his utterances when he first sees how ill Mimi is. Though not the subtlest of actors, he entered into the stage business convincingly, joining gamely in his roommates’ high jinks and playing the part of a jealous lover when Mimi innocently flirts with passers-by.” Read more

December 10, 2010

Elisir d’amore | Bavarian State Opera, December 2010

KLAUS KAHLSCHMID, SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

“After Giuseppe Filanoti and Pavol Breslik, Joseph Calleja has now stepped into the role as a dream casting, secure in singing and acting. Playing Nemorino as a kind of Chaplin-Keaton clown clone is not the thing for this tree of a man and his nobly vibrating timbre, And so in the costume and make-up and demeanor of a shy youngster we had the body of a giant. The not just marriage-hungry girls were allowed to undress him, and the sight of black, feel-good underwear instead of the usual body-hugging white variety – we could clearly hear it – still had plenty of impact on the ladies in the audience. He didn’t just sing his “Una furtiva lagrima” with infatuating beauty, but also managed the feat four meters up in the air on a lamp post.” Read more

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Joseph's Blog

March 15th, 2015

We are not a nation of bird killers!

Ask anyone to identify the one single thing that gives Malta a bad name abroad and the answer will be hunting. So much misinformation has been spewed in local and foreign press about what goes on, supposedly, in the Maltese islands that there are actually people that believe that in Malta hunters really do kill millions of birds annually. I even received various ridiculous messages on my social media requesting that I lobby with the Maltese government to stop the “traditional eating” of song birds. For the record we don’t eat songbirds and the only game we really eat is quail and turtle dove. Both are eaten on the continent so nothing exotic going on here.

There is of course a degree of illegal hunting in Malta, just like in any other country in the world where hunting takes place. This is deplorable and the perpetrators should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law but to say that we somehow effect worldwide bird population or that millions of bird killings takes place in Malta is not only hyperbole and preposterous but it is a downright lie. Unfortunately it makes for good press and exciting television and Malta’s miniscule geographical proportions makes it an ideal location to monitor and document every single illegality, if one would really want to and some do. Of course the majority of hunters are law abiding citizens and a lot of unfair reputational damage has been done to the Maltese islands internationally by overzealous individuals and organizations who, quite frankly, should know better. Think about it. Where is one most likely to spot and film illegalities? Certainly not in countries with thousands of hectares of available hunting grounds away from it all. No question that Malta is a much easier target for those who want to document hunting whether in its legal or illegal.

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