Including duets with leading Soprano Angela Gheorghiu and Baritone Vittorio Vitelli. Calleja explores the light and dark in Verdi’s heroic tenors.

The album is reflective of Joseph’s flourishing live career as one of the leading tenors. A regular performer at the world’s leading opera houses. Significant step into Verdi repertoire for Calleja. Calleja described by Bocelli as his favourite tenor in the world of lyrical music – introduction from Bocelli in the booklet. This is the first album that Calleja is releasing since 2013 when he was part of a recording of Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra”.

CALLEJA Verdi. Joseph Calleja, Vittorio Vitelli, Angela Gheorghiu, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana / Ramon Tebar. Decca ClassicsCALLEJA Verdi. Joseph Calleja, Vittorio Vitelli, Angela Gheorghiu, Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana / Ramon Tebar. Decca ClassicsView or buy

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Andrea Bocelli:
Joseph Calleja is one of the leading figures on the international opera scene today. The quality of his vibrato, his sweetness of tone and the dramatic insight he brings to each role combine to make him a rounded and accomplished artist – one capable of bringing the world’s operatic masterpieces to life.
This new Verdi album represents a new and exciting chapter in his career. A significant staging post, it vividly captures his artistry as he reaches vocal and dramatic maturity with these authoritative portrayals of Italy’s greatest opera composer’s most complex roles.

Giuseppe Verdi has been part of Calleja’s career from the start – since the moment in 1997 when the then nineteen-year-old tenor made his professional debut as Macduff in Macbeth (coincidentally, I had made my own stage debut in that same role three years earlier).

More than two hundred years after his birth, Verdi still has the power to warm our hearts. A standard-bearer of Romanticism and a poet of human life and passion, this composer of incomparable genius broke down conventions, telling stories of both love and power, depicting tormented souls and the tumult of personal sacrifice.

Calleja proves himself a powerful interpreter of this challenging selection of arias and duets. He embodies the noble Mediterranean tradition of intense, resonant tenor voices, capable of moving listeners to the core.

As he performs these wonderful excerpts from Otello, Don Carlo, La forza del destino, Aida and Il trovatore, my colleague also reveals the muscular versatility of his instrument – a just reward for a singer who as well as being in possession of an amazing “gift”, has carefully nurtured and sustained his voice, developing its full potential.

I am delighted to have this opportunity to share the pleasure I have experienced in listening to Joseph sing, and would like to end on a personal note – I have long admired the beauty of his voice and his unusual vibrato, but having recently had the chance to meet him in person, I can now say I have equal admiration for the man himself and his generosity of spirit.