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

September 27th, 2014

Malta’s 50th birthday.

Unfortunately work commitments prevented me from being present for the 50th Anniversary of Malta’s independence. By all accounts the show was quite something and Prince William seemed genuinely charmed by my fellow islanders. Kudos to the government and the organizers.

I sometimes wonder how the Maltese people managed to achieve so much in relatively little time. Lets not kid ourselves – we are a very small island and  in the middle of nowhere to boot. As yet we can boast 7,000 years of history, our own unique culture, language and a populace that, throughout the ages, has  repeatedly demonstrated  that it could rise to the occasion and punch above its weight when it really matters.  And how I wish, that it “matters” more often!

I simply hate it when I see some of my fellow countrymen squabble over a few votes and losing all principles whilst rubbishing great ideas just because they come from the other side of the fence. I can’t understand why there is a certain fanatical mindset, on both sides, that thinks only one half of the population is fit to “lead” the nation and should do so indefinitely. Can it please be a battle of ideas rather than “parading” colors in peacock like fashion?  For example - individuals who are simply not fit for purpose, should be treated exactly as such and not given positions of “pseudo importance” because it was “politically convenient” at the time.

The current government won the past elections with an historic majority, the likes of which we have never seen. Such a big win means power and this power surely must be “cashed” into responsibility. This majority has to be used to tackle certain hot issues and implement changes where necessary.

It’s easy to dismiss my words as “uninformed” or “utopian” but the thing is that I have travelled the world, pretty much constantly for the past 17 years. The more I see and soak in different cultures and experiences, the more I realize how much untapped potential Malta still has. Surely the management of our environment, education, infrastructure  and culture is in need of tweaking or a complete overhaul in some cases.

The good news is that I can see it happening already. The bad news is that it might not be happening as fast as it should. I really hope that our dynamic leaders do not mess up things in the end game and may the next 50 years be a time when we Maltese understand what we were, what we are now and what we could turn into if we truly become a united nation. It matters now…