Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Maltese Tenor Joseph Calleja Fills In for Villazon.

Poor Rolando wasn't feeling very good Friday night. So just an hour an a half before going onstage in the Vienna State Opera's La Boheme, he pulled out, and was replaced by 29-year old Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja.

There's been a lot of interest in this young man especially since Malta joined the European Union in 2004. His style is said to be "reminiscent of the great tenors of opera's golden age." (from Decca)

The Times of Malta reports the audience was so pumped about going to see Rolando that they were furious when they found out he wasn't going to show. Still, Joseph Calleja won them over, including Austria's largest paper, Die Presser:

"Joseph Calleja... swiftly managed to allay the discontent.

"He was (along with Boaz Daniel as Marcello) the best thing on this evening. (Mr) Calleja has a glorious, gratifyingly old-fashioned timbre, a terrific upper register and an ongoingly improving technique."

The Kurier Vienna amped up the praise: "The judgment of many people: A voice that radiates even more lyricism than Villazon's tenor."

I imagine Rolando is now doing his best to get better and back on stage! We recommend he stay away from mechanical bulls for a while.

But I'm glad for Joseph Calleja. The more top-notch tenors around, the better, I say.

Read more about Calleja on Wikipedia, and in this article from Music and Vision.

1 comment:

Kerri said...

People should read this.