Culver City Observer -

Joseph Calleja Celebrates Musical Life Of Mario Lanza

Observer Reporter


Joseph Calleja, the Grammy-nominated Maltese tenor, traveled to the Broad Stage in Santa Monica and showed the audience why he has one of the very best voices in opera right now as he celebrated the musical life of Mario Lanza with a full orchestra led by Maestro Jader Bignamini.Blessed with a golden-age voice, he is compared to famous singers from earlier eras like Jussi Bjorling and Enrico Caruso. He has quickly become one of the most acclaimed and sought-after tenors today and has made frequent appearances on the world's leading opera and concert stages. Voted Gramophone magazine's 2012 Artist of the Year, he is a recording artist for Decca Classics and has released five solo albums for the label. Calleja made his Hollywood debut in 2014's "The Immigrant," in which he portrays the legendary tenor Enrico Caruso in a cast with Marion Cotillard, Joaquin Phoenix and

Jeremy Renner. Highlights from recent operatic seasons include the title characters in new productions of Faust and Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the Metropolitan Opera; Alfredo in La Traviata opposite Renee Fleming, Adorno in Simon Boccanegra alongside Placido Domingo, a new production of La Boheme opposite Anna Netrebko, among many others. Calleja sang works at Broad Stage by several composers, including arias by Verdi, Puccini, Bizet, Brodszky, and more, all of which were signatures of Lanza's career. Calleja's album "Be My Love" is also a tribute to Lanza. Some of the bright spots from his performance, among the many, was his rendition of La flour sue tu m'avais jetee from Carmen by Bizet, E lucevan le stelle from Puccini's Tosca and the final aria on the program, Be My Love by Brodszky. During one of his encore songs he walked off stage to the front row and treated Lloyd E. Rigler, the major donor who gave a generous gift to bring Calleja to the Broad Stage, to an up-close-and-personal performance. His sterling voice resonated so well in that intimate space, and then the space became even more intimate. As he finally left the stage at the conclusion of his encores, his journey will next take him to play the part of Cavaradossi, one of the leading roles in Tosca with the

Grange Park Opera in England.


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