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Joseph Calleja sings Edgardo in Met’s “Lucia”

Earlier this season at the Metropolitan Opera, Joseph Calleja’s performance as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème prompted the Associated Press to admire his “voice unlike anyone else on the operatic scene today.”  As the review continued: “A rapid vibrato gives his sound an alluring sweetness, and in recent years he has refined his technique so that the quality is consistent throughout his range, up to high C.”  Now, following performances earlier this season as Rodolfo and as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, the Maltese tenor returns to New York to take on his third Italian role of the Met season.  From February 24 through March 19, he sings Edgardo opposite Natalie Dessay in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.  The March 19 performance will be transmitted live to movie theaters around the world, as part of the “Met: Live in HD” series.  In addition, Joseph Calleja’s exclusive record label, the newly re-launched Decca Classics, has announced plans to release the tenor’s next solo album, titled The Maltese Tenor, later this year.

Joseph Calleja was only 28 years of age when he made his Met debut as the Duke in 2006, when the New York Times noted his “rich and expressive” voice.  Now 32, the Maltese tenor “has matured into one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today,” according to a recent Associated Press review of Houston Grand Opera’s season-opening new production of Madama Butterfly, in which he starred as Pinkerton.  In addition to Dessay in the title role, the cast of the Met’s current Mary Zimmerman revival production of Lucia features Ludovic Tézier as Enrico and Kwangchul Youn as Raimondo.  Patrick Summers, Music Director of Houston Grand Opera, conducts.

Joseph Calleja’s first two albums for Decca –The Golden Voice and Tenor Arias – were both selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine, and he has recorded exclusively for the label since 2003.  The new recording features French and Italian opera arias that offer a sneak peek at the roles the tenor will be taking on in coming seasons.

This spring, Calleja returns to two of Germany’s most prestigious houses – Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper for La bohème and Berlin’s Deutsche Oper for Lucia – and gives a concert of opera arias in Istanbul, Turkey.  He ends the season on tour with the Metropolitan Opera in Japan, singing Rodolfo opposite Anna Netrebko’s Mimì and Edgardo opposite Diana Damrau’s Lucia.

Joseph Calleja: upcoming appearances
February 24 & 28, March 4, 8, 12, 16, & 19; New York City
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
Metropolitan Opera House
April 6, 10, & 24; Berlin, Germany
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
Deutsche Oper
April 14; Turkey, Istanbul
Opera arias with orchestra
May 13, 16, 20, & 24; Munich, Germany
Puccini: La bohème (Rodolfo)
Bayerische Staatsoper
June 9 & 12; Tokyo, Japan
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
Metropolitan Opera Japan Tour
Tokyo Bunka Kaikan
June 17 & 19; Tokyo, Japan
Puccini: La bohème (Rodolfo)
Metropolitan Opera Japan Tour
NHK Hall



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© 21C Media Group, February 2011

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