Joseph Calleja (tenor)

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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 the 2nd 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, Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, Teatre Principal in Maiorca, Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, the Concertgebouw in 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 Calleja’s 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 of the finest lyric tenors before the public today" (Houston Chronicle on recent performances of Puccini's Madama Butterfly.

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 Peace 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.

  • 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
  • 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

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. On 19 July 2009 he sang with Michael Bolton. Later in July 2010 he sang with Dionne Warwick and Riccardo Cocciante and his choir of 500 children (now decreased to 230) accompanied them.

  • 2012: "Be My Love" (reached #4 in Tracklisten, the Danish Singles Chart)




  • 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)

External links

  • Official website
  • International Fan Page
  • Profile of Joseph Calleja at