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Joseph Calleja headlines 2011 Nobel Prize Concert (Dec 8)

Joseph Calleja is the latest world-class artist to be chosen as the featured soloist at the Nobel Prize Concert, held annually in Stockholm on December 8 in honor of the year’s Nobel Laureates. For the 2011 concert, Calleja – “one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today” (Associated Press) – will perform a selection of favorite Italian and French opera arias with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Marcello Mottadelli. It was with a similar program that the singer’s most recent solo album, The Maltese Tenor, debuted last month in the number one spot on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart in the US, having already topped similar lists in the UK and Germany. The disc includes an aria from Gounod’s Faust, and it is in the title role of a new production of this grand opera that Calleja returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera in January 2012.
Held annually before an audience that includes the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal family, the Nobel Prize Concert plays an important part in the official Nobel Week program. Only artists of the highest caliber are showcased; most recently, these were violinist Joshua Bell (2010) and pianist Martha Argerich (2009). As this year’s guest star, Calleja will sing arias by Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Saint-Saëns, Pietri, Mascagni, and Leoncavallo in Stockholm’s Concert House.
Next, after a run in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Calleja reprises another French masterpiece at the Met when he rings in the New Year as Gounod’s Faust. This new staging by Tony Award-winning director Des McAnuff updates the story to the first half of the 20th century. It opened last season in London, winning praise for its “terrific flair and imagination” (Daily Telegraph) and “real frisson of visual and aural grandeur” (Independent). With Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto as the devil and Russian soprano Marina Poplavskaya as Marguerite, Calleja will give five performances in the title role (Jan 5–19). This marks his first appearance at the company since undertaking three leading Italian roles at the Met last season: Rodolfo in La bohème, the Duke in Rigoletto, and – impressing the New York Times as “sensationally ardent” – Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor.
Following this engagement, Calleja returns to Europe for title roles in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux at Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, and Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz at the Frankfurt Opera. In the spring, in a highly anticipated return to the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, he sings Rodolfo in La bohème. It was after a Covent Garden performance as Alfredo in La traviata that the London Times declared: “The Maltese tenor’s beautifully rounded voice oozes old-school class – he’s shiveringly good,” while the New York Times agreed: “He is the real thing, a tenor who naturally combines plaintive sound with burnished intensity. He sings with heart and intelligence.” Calleja rounds off the season with a concert at the famous Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen; singing Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor in a return to the Deutsche Oper Berlin; and appearing once more as Rodolfo at the Munich Opera Festival.
Further information about Joseph Calleja is available at, and a list of his upcoming engagements follows.
Joseph Calleja: 2011-12 engagements
Dec 8
Stockholm, Sweden
Great Hall, Stockholm Concert House
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra / Marcello Mottadelli
Nobel Prize Concert
Dec 19 & 22
Berlin, Germany
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Bizet: The Pearl Fishers (Nadir)
Jan 5, 9, 13, 16, & 19 (2012)
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Gounod: Faust (title role)
Feb 1, 5, 9, & 13
Munich, Germany
Bayerische Staatsoper
Donizetti: Roberto Devereux (title role)
March 11 & 12
Frankfurt, Germany
Frankfurt Alte Oper
Mascagni: L’amico Fritz (title role)
April 23
London, UK
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Insight Event
April 30; May 3, 5, 8, 12, & 17
London, UK
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Puccini: La bohème (Rodolfo)
May 26
Copenhagen, Denmark
Tivoli Theatre
Gala concert
June 8 & 14
Berlin, Germany
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
July 17 & 20
Munich, Germany
Munich Opera Festival
Puccini: La bohème (Rodolfo)
July 25
London, UK
Royal Opera House
Gala Concert with Plácido Domingo
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