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

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?