born on 22/1/1978 in Attard, Malta
Joseph Calleja, (born 22 January 1978, Attard), is a Maltese tenor. He began singing at the age of 16, having been discovered by Tenor Brian Cefai and continued his studies with Paul Asciak. At 19, he made his operatic debut as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth at the Astra Theatre in Gozo and went on to become a prize winner at the Belvedere Hans Gabor competition the same year. In 1998, he won the Caruso Competition in Milan and was a prize winner in Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999. He has since been considered one of the most promising young tenors of the 21st century.
On 2 November 2012, the University of Malta presented Joseph Calleja with a Doctor of Literature Honoris Causa in acknowledgment of his achievements as an internationally renowned tenor.
In Europe, Calleja has performed in many opera houses including Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna State Opera, Teatro Real in Madrid Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, Barcelona, Amsterdam and many more.
In the USA, Calleja has performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Civic Opera House in Chicago. Calleja has recorded two CDs of opera arias: Tenor Arias and The Golden Voice.
In July 2011, Joseph Callejas third solo album Joseph Calleja The Maltese Tenor reached second overall position on the German charts and debuted at number one in the US Billboard Classical Traditional chart. It captured the development of his art and presents him in some of the roles he is currently performing to ecstatic critical responses: "All the ardor and beauty of tone one could wish for...one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today" (Houston Chronicle on recent performances of Puccini's Madama Butterfly).
Joseph Calleja was named Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2012. In the same year, Calleja was selected to serve as Maltas first cultural ambassador and was also named a brand ambassador for Air Malta one year later. In 2013, he teamed up with Maltas Bank of Valletta to form the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, which will serve to help children and families in need.
- On 19 July 2009 he sang with Michael Bolton.
- In July 2010 he sang with Dionne Warwick and Riccardo Cocciante and his choir of 500 children (now decreased to 230) accompanied them.
- On 9 July 2011, Calleja staged an annual concert with Christchurch soprano Hayley Westenra and Italian singer Lucio Dalla at the Granaries in Malta.
- On 8 December 2011, Calleja performed at the 2011 Nobel Prize Concert in Stockholm.
- On 8 September 2012, Calleja sang at the Last Night of Proms 2012.
- On 18 January 2013, Calleja sang in Paris at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées.
- On 31 January 2013, Calleja sang at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, together with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra, conducted by Frédéric Chaslin
- On 1 August 2013, Calleja sang with Zucchero, Rebecca Ferguson, Gianluca Bezzina, Riccardo Cocciante and Tenisha. He was also accompanied by his choir. The concert took place in Floriana with the Maltese National Orchestra, conducted by Mro. Steven Mercurio.
Recording and videos
- 2003: DVD of Maria Stuarda featuring Calleja as Leicester, recorded by the Fondazione Orchestra Stabile de Bergamo
- 2004: Solo recital disc, Tenor Arias, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with the Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano
- 2004: "Puccini Discoveries": Cantata Cessato il suon dell'armi, conducted by Riccardo Chailly with the Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Milano
- 2005: Solo recital disc, The Golden Voice, conducted by Carlo Rizzi with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields
- 2009: CD of I Capuleti e i Montecchi featuring Calleja as Tebaldo, conducted by Fabio Luisi
- 2010: DVD of Simon Boccanegra featuring Calleja as Gabriele Adorno with Plácido Domingo in the title role; recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London
- 2011: DVD of La traviata featuring Calleja as Alfredo Germont, recorded at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London (Grammy nomination)
- 2011: Solo recital disc, The Maltese Tenor, with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande
- 2012: Solo recital disc, "Be My Love - A Tribute to Mario Lanza", BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Steven Mercurio
- 2013: Solo recital disc, "Amore", with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Steven Mercurio and featuring Nicola Benedetti and Ksenija Sidorova
- 2013: CD of "Simon Boccanegra" featuring Calleja as Gabriele Adorno with Thomas Hampson in the title role; conducted by Massimo Zanetti
Calleja made a guest appearance on Renée Fleming's album By Request, singing the role of Alfredo in the act 1 closing scene of La traviata. His recording of "La donna è mobile" from Verdi's Rigoletto was featured in the soundtrack for the 2007 film No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Golden Voice and Tenor Arias both captured critical and popular acclaim, and both were named Editors Choice in Gramophone magazine.
- 2012: "Be My Love" (reached #4 in Tracklisten, the Danish Singles Chart)
Joseph Calleja appears as legendary tenor Enrico Caruso in James Grays upcoming film The Immigrant, which also features Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard.
- Zephoris in Si j'étais roi (Adolphe Adam)
- Tebaldo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Vincenzo Bellini)
- Arturo in I puritani (Bellini)
- Elvino in La sonnambula (Bellini)
- Lind in Isabella (Azio Corghi)
- Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore (Gaetano Donizetti)
- Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti)
- Leicester in Maria Stuarda (Donizetti)
- Ernesto in Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
- Roberto Devereux in Roberto Devereux (Donizetti)
- Faust in Faust (Charles Gounod)
- Roméo in Roméo et Juliette (Gounod)
- Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni (Mozart)
- Rodolfo in La bohème (Giacomo Puccini)
- Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
- Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia (Gioachino Rossini)
- Fenton in Falstaff (Giuseppe Verdi)
- Edoardo di Sanval in Un giorno di regno (Verdi)
- Macduff in Macbeth (Verdi)
- The Duke in Rigoletto (Verdi)
- Alfredo in La traviata (Verdi)
- Hoffmann in Les contes d'Hoffmann (Jacques Offenbach)
- Ruggiero in La rondine (Puccini)
- Nicias in Thaïs (Jules Massenet)
- Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
- Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra (Verdi)
- Fritz in L'amico Fritz (Pietro Mascagni)
- Nadir in The Pearl Fishers (Georges Bizet)
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 Joseph Calleja. Decca Records (2003). Retrieved on 2011-12-25.
- "Joseph Calleja the tenor who is Malta's national treasure" by Imogen Tilden, The Guardian, 6 September 2012)
- "Joseph Calleja Maltese Tenor", 18 December 2012)
- "Calleja's album second in German charts", The Times, Malta, 28 June 2011
- Joseph Calleja's new album debuts as vocal bestseller on German charts. The Times (2011-07-03). Retrieved on 2011-12-25.
- Joseph Calleja Va: Maltese Tenor. hmv.com (2011-07-25). Retrieved on 2011-12-25.
- Musical giants come together. The Times (2011-06-20). Retrieved on 2011-12-25.
- Standing ovations for Calleja at Nobel Prize concert. The Times (2011-12-09). Retrieved on 2011-12-25.
- BBC: "Prom 76: Last Night of the Proms 2012"
- Opera vs. pop A summer concert in Malta, 8/3/13.