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Joseph Calleja, (born 22 January 1978, Attard), is a Maltese tenor. He began singing at the age of 16, having been discovered by Tenor Brian Cefai and continued his studies with Paul Asciak. At 19, he made his operatic debut as Macduff in Verdi's Macbeth at the Astra Theatre in Gozo and went on to become a prize winner at the Belvedere Hans Gabor competition the same year. In 1998 he won the Caruso Competition in Milan and was a prize winner in Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999. He has since been considered one of the most promising young tenors of the 21st century.
On the 2nd November 2012, the University of Malta presented Joseph Calleja with a Doctor of Literature Honoris Causa in acknowledgment of his achievements as an internationally renowned tenor. .
In Europe, Calleja has performed in many opera houses including Royal Opera House in London, the Vienna State Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg, Teatre Principal in Majorca,[clarification needed The Teatre Principal is in Minorca, not Majorca.] Gran Teatre de Liceu in Barcelona, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and many more.
In the USA, Calleja has performed at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Civic Opera House in Chicago. Calleja has recorded two CDs of opera arias: Tenor Arias and The Golden Voice.
In July 2011, Joseph Calleja’s third solo album Joseph Calleja – The Maltese Tenor reached second overall position on the German charts and debuted at number one in the US Billboard Classical Traditional chart. It captured the development of his art and presents him in some of the roles he is currently performing to ecstatic critical responses: "All the ardor and beauty of tone one could wish for...one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today" (Houston Chronicle on recent performances of Puccini's Madama Butterfly).
On 18 January 2013, Calleja sang in Paris at the Théatre des Champs-Elysées.
Calleja made a guest appearance on Renée Fleming's album By Request, singing the role of Alfredo in the act 1 closing scene of La traviata. On 19 July 2009 he sang with Michael Bolton. Later in July 2010 he sang with Dionne Warwick and Riccardo Cocciante and his choir of 500 children (now decreased to 230) accompanied them.