February 12, 2017
“There is some fine singing, most notably that of Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as Don Jose, the callow young corporal whose obsession with the Gypsy seductress Carmen spells his doom … and Italian lyric soprano Eleonora Buratto as Micaela, his village sweetheart, who tries to rescue him from Carmen’s clutches. Both proved to be the real deal heading the cast fielded by Lyric Opera on Saturday night, under the spirited and sympathetic baton of Harry Bicket …
If ever there was an opera role made to order for Calleja’s superb tenor, it’s Don Jose. The part may be a relatively recent addition to his repertory, but vocally and dramatically he gripped one’s attention as the young man’s passion for Carmen became more and more desperate, his jealousy more heated the more she rebuffed him. The clarion heft of his sound was tempered by an elegant legato, sensitive phrasing and feel for the drama. His shift to head voice and lovely diminuendo at the close of the Flower Song were well managed, earning him a warm ovation.”
John von Rhein – Chicago Tribune
January 16, 2017
Joseph Calleja stars as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen, this season at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Performances take place February 11, 15, 19, 22 & 28 and March 3 & 6 at Chicago’s Civic Opera House, featuring a new-to-Chicago production directed by Rob Ashford. Ekaterina Gubanova sings the title role, with Eleonora Burrato as Micaëla, and Christian van Horn as Escamillo. Maestro Harry Bicket leads the acclaimed Lyric Opera Orchestra for all dates listed above.
January 4, 2017
Joseph Calleja is the featured soloist in the Official Opening Concert of the 2017 Maltese Presidency of the Council of the European Union, hosted at the BOZAR in Brussels on January 16. Mr. Calleja performs with The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Brian Schembri. The concert is part of a multi-month celebration of Maltese culture at the BOZAR, which began on January 1 and continues through June 30. The evening features selections by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart and more; tickets and more information are available via the following link.