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Joseph Calleja

  • Tenor


Joseph Calleja began the 2008-09 with his return to the Staatsoper Hamburg as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, followed by performances as Edgardo in a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor with Frankfurt Opera. Frankfurt Opera audiences also hear him in concert this season as Nadir in Les pêcheurs de perles, and he reprises the role of Edgardo later in the season for Deutsche Oper Berlin. Audiences in the US hear him as Rodolfo in La bohème with San Francisco Opera, and he returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera for performances as Verdi’s Duke and as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore. Further highlights of his operatic season include performances of La traviata with the Vienna Staatsoper and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, as well as performances as Rodolfo with the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich. Mr Calleja can be heard in concert extensively this season, with appearances in London, Zurich, Spain, and his native Malta.

Joseph Calleja is well-known to audiences in the music capitals of the world. His engagements have taken him to virtually every major European city where he has appeared in twenty leading roles in theatres such as Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper – Munich, Zurich Opera, Teatro Communale di Bologna, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Salzburg Festival. Joseph Calleja made his debut with Royal Opera, Covent Garden as the Duke of Mantua, and he soon returned for performances as Alfredo and Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth and for concert performances as Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs. His debut at the Vienna Staatsoper was as Elvino in La Sonnambula, and he has since returned for performances as Arturo in I Puritani, Verdi’s Duke, Rodolfo, Alfredo, Nemorino, and the title role of Roberto Devereux.

Joseph Calleja sung Tebaldo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e I Montecchi at the Vienna Konzerthaus alongside Anna Netrebko and Elīna Garanča, in concert performances slated for CD-release by Deutsche Grammophon in early 2009. The tenor has appeared with Zurich Opera as Verdi’s Duke and as Elvino, and he appeared at the Salzburg Festival as Tebaldo in concert performances conducted by Ivor Bolton. The Duke of Mantua was the vehicle for his debuts with the Bayerische Staatsoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Netherlands Opera, and Welsh National Opera, and the tenor recently returned to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for performances as Arturo in I Puritani and for his first performances in the title role in Gounod’s Faust Audiences at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre de Liceu first saw Joseph Calleja as Nemorino, and he first appeared with Dresden Semperoper and Frankfurt Opera as Rodolfo in La Boheme.

Joseph Calleja returned to Frankfurt Opera for his first performances as Roméo in Roméo et Juliette and for further performances as Rodolfo. The tenor’s German debut was as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni at the Regensburg Festival, and he recently returned to this role for his debut with the Teatre Principal, Majorca. His first appearance at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro was in the role of Lind in the world premiere of Azio Corghi's Isabella. Other highlights of recent seasons include performances as Alfredo in a new production of La Traviata at the Opera National du Rhin, Strasbourg; Ernesto in Don Pasquale in Brussels; Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia in Liege; Fenton in Falstaff at the Teatro Regio Torino; Edoardo di Sanval in Verdi’s Un giorno di regno in Bologna; the Duke in Rotterdam and Copenhagen; Rodolfo in La bohème for the Bregenz Festival; and Leicester in Maria Stuarda in Stockholm and Parma.

Joseph Calleja made his debut in the United States as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi at the Spoleto Festival. He recently appeared as Macduff with Seattle Opera the same season he made his debut with Los Angeles Opera as Alfredo in La traviata. This role was also the vehicle for his debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Verdi’s Duke and Macduff. Further appearances in the US include Almaviva in Il Barbiere di Siviglia and the Duke of Mantua for Washington Opera and Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor for Minnesota Opera. He made his Canadian debut as Rodolfo in La bohème in Toronto.

Joseph Calleja is also in great demand as a concert artist. He has toured throughout Germany in recitals, solo concerts, and together with soprano Anna Netrebko and has appeared in several opera galas, including Leipzig, the Hampton Court and Faenol Festivals in the UK with Bryn Terfel as well as at the Sejong Cultural Center in Seoul, Korea. He has performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater at the Festival de Música de Canarias and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Riccardo Chailly, Gianandrea Noseda and Juri belohlavek at the BBC Proms; and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass at the Salzburg Easter Festival. Born in Malta in 1978, Joseph Calleja began singing at the age of 16 and was discovered by the Maltese tenor Paul Asciak, with whom he continues to study. He made his professional debut in Malta in 1997 as Macduff in Macbeth and went on to become a prize winner in at the Belvedere Hans Gabor competition the same year.

He later won the 1998 Caruso Competition in Milan and was a prize winner in Placido Domingo’s “Operalia” in 1999.