Lyrical tenor with a voice from the golden age of opera.
Joseph Calleja is often compared with such operatic icons as Caruso, Björling and Pavarotti. The popular Maltese tenor with the velvet voice fell in love with opera as a teenager, spending hours listening to crackly recordings of bygone operatic stars. It is perhaps for this reason his voice is celebrated for its warm tone, its charm and according to La Scala conductor Riccardo Chailly, 'a sound harking back to a quality I thought we had long lost.'
He currently sings with the world's greatest opera companies and appears in concert worldwide. Guiseppe Verdi is an important composer for him: in February 2018 he released his album Verdi, in which he explores the light and dark in Verdi's heroic tenor roles.
In Grieghallen, in addition to the Duke's memorable aria Questa o quella from Verdi's Rigoletto, he sings É lucevan le stelle from Puccini's Tosca, one of his signature tunes, considered one of the most beautiful arias in the tenor repertoire.
The Italian-American pianist Vincenzo Scalera has appeared with Calleja on a number of occasions, and is one of his favourite accompanists. Amongst other artists he has accompanied are Andrea Bocelli, Montserrat Caballé and José Carreras. He first visited the Bergen International Festival in 1987.
Joseph Calleja tenor | Vincenzo Scalera piano
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756–1791) Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön (This image is enchantingly lovely), from The Magic Flute K 620
GAETANO DONIZETTI (1797–1848) Tombe degl'avi miei from Lucia di Lammermoor
GIUSEPPE VERDI (1813–1901) Questa o quella from Rigoletto
JULES MASSENET (1842–1912) Pourquoi me réveiller from Werther
GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858–1924) E lucevan le stelle from Tosca
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840–1893) Niet tolka tot kto znal (None but the Lonely Heart) from op. 6
FRANCESCO PAOLO TOSTI (1846–1916) Ideale | A vucchella
JOSEPH VELLA (1942–) Il-Kebbies tal-Fanali
VINCENZO DE CRESCENZO (1915–1987) Rondine al nido
RUGGERO LEONCAVALLO (1857–1919) Mattinata