© Andrew Borg Carabott
Born in Malta, Joseph Calleja began singing at the age of 16, first in his church choir and then in formal training with Maltese tenor Paul Asciak. He was only 19 when he made his operatic debut as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Astra Theatre in Malta.
Soon after that, he won an award in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Competition and then he won the 1998 Caruso Competition in Milan. He was a prize winner in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia in 1999. Since then, Calleja has gone on to appear with the world’s great opera companies and also performs many concerts.
Highlights from recent operatic seasons include the title characters in new productions of Faust and The Tales of Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera; Adorno in Simone Boccanegra, Alfredo in La Traviata at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Roberto in Maria Stuarda in concerts with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto in Munich.
He made his role debut as Riccardo (Un Ballo in Maschera) at the Royal Opera House in London, as Don José (Carmen) at Oper Frankfurt, as Cavaradossi (Tosca) at Grange Park Opera and the Teatro Real in Madrid, and portrayed Ruggero (La Rondine) at Deutsche Oper Berlin, where he came back in the role of Enzo Grimaldo (La Gioconda). In 2020/21, he starred in the New York Metropolitan Opera's series Met Stars Live in Concert, where he sang alongside with Diana Damrau from the Royal Palace of Caserta, Italy.
During season 2021/22, he performed Mario Cavaradossi at the Zurich Opera and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto) at the Paris Opera, Rodolfo (La Bohème) at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, Enzo Grimaldo at Grange Park Opera and Foresto (Attila) at the Royal Opera House in London in the concert version.
He was voted Gramophone magazine’s 2012 Artist of the Year at the Grammy Awards for his recordings for Decca, a house of which he is the exclusive artist and with which he has released five solo albums.
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