Joseph Calleja

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Joseph Calleja
Maltese Tenor Joseph Calleja.JPG
Born (1978-01-22) 22 January 1978 (age 42)
Attard, Malta
Alma materDe la Salle College[citation needed]
OccupationOperatic tenor
Years active1997–present
Height189 cm (6 ft 2 in)

Joseph Calleja (born 22 January 1978)[1] is a Maltese operatic tenor.

Early life and career[edit]

Calleja was born in Attard, Malta. He began singing at the age of 16, having been discovered by tenor Brian Cefai and continued his studies with Paul Asciak. At the age of 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 in 1999.[2]

On 2 November 2012, the University of Malta presented Calleja with a Doctor of Literature Honoris Causa in acknowledgment of his achievements as an internationally renowned tenor.[3]

On 8 October 2015, Calleja was elected to the Board of Directors of the European Academy of Music Theatre.[4]

Concerts in Malta[edit]

In 2009, Calleja began a series of annual concerts at the Granaries in Malta. The first concert was performed with Michael Bolton.[5] In 2010, he sang with Dionne Warwick and Riccardo Cocciante and his choir of 500 children. In 2011, he appeared with soprano Hayley Westenra and Italian singer Lucio Dalla.[6] In 2012, he was joined by Ronan Keating and Gigi D'Alessio.[7] In 2013, he sang with Zucchero, Rebecca Ferguson, Gianluca Bezzina, Riccardo Cocciante and Tenisha.[8] In 2015, he sang with Anastacia as a special guest.


Calleja's first solo recital disc, Tenor Arias, was released in 2004. He followed that up in 2005 with The Golden Voice. In 2011, his third solo album Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor reached second overall position on the German charts[9] and debuted at number one in the US Billboard Classical Traditional chart. His 2011 DVD of La traviata from the Royal Opera House and costarring Renée Fleming was nominated for a Grammy award.[10]

List of recording and videos[edit]

  • 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
  • 2016: DVD and Blu-ray of Mefistofele featuring Calleja as Faust, with René Pape in the title role; conducted by Omer Meir Wellber at Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich.
  • 2018: Verdi, Orchestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, conducted by Ramón Tebar, Decca

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.


Calleja appears as tenor Enrico Caruso in James Gray's 2013 film The Immigrant, which also features Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard.[11]



  1. ^ "Joseph Calleia - Malta's Hollywood actor". Malta Independent. May 21, 2013. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
  2. ^ "Joseph Calleja". Decca Records. 2003. Archived from the original on 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  3. ^ "Joseph Calleja – Maltese Tenor", 18 December 2012)
  4. ^ "New board elected: Thomas Adès, Joseph Calleja and Alessandro Di Profio new members", European Academy of Music Theatre, 10 October 2015
  5. ^ "Joseph Calleja in Concert with Bolton". Times of Malta. Malta. 2009-01-09. Retrieved 2014-02-18.
  6. ^ "Musical giants come together". The Times. Malta. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  7. ^ "Ronan dines at Villa Parisio". Times of Malta. 20 July 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Opera vs. pop – A summer concert in Malta". Euronews. 2013-08-03.
  9. ^ "Calleja's album second in German charts", The Times, Malta, 28 June 2011
  10. ^ "Joseph Calleja's new album debuts as vocal bestseller on German charts". The Times. Malta. 2011-07-03. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  11. ^ "The Immigrant: Cannes Review".

External links[edit]