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Get to know the Maltese tenor, Gramophone's Artist of the Year 2012, who's adding his name to the list of classical superstars including Yo Yo Ma, Joyce DiDonato, and Simon Rattle - to name but a few!
Calleja was born in Malta on 22 January 1978. As one of Malta’s biggest celebrities, he was chosen to be Malta’s first cultural ambassador in 2012. Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
Joseph began singing at age 16. He made his opera debut as Macduff in Verdi's 'Macbeth' at Astra Theatre in Gozo. Photo: Simon Fowler Photography / Decca 2012
Inspired by the star of stage and screen, Mario Lanza, Joseph Calleja has released an album of music made famous by Lanza, entitled Be My Love. Photo: Simon Fowler Photography / Decca 2012
Joseph is a wine connoisseur, and is currently building a cellar for his new house in Malta. His favorite wines are from the St. Emillion region in Bordeaux. Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
He's not just a fantastic tenor: Joseph Calleja is a keen fly-fisher! Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
Joseph first encountered Mario Lanza at his uncle's house, where he watched one of his films. He said: "I tried to imitate him and I lost my voice for two weeks!" Photo: Simon Fowler Photography / Decca 2012
Joseph has performed in opera houses all over the world, including the Royal Opera House, the Vienna Staatsoper, Frankfurt Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Metropolitan Opera in New York, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Seattle Opera, and back at home in Malta and Gozo. Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
Speaking to Classic FM, Joseph said: "My ultimate aim is to achieve the full potential of my voice. If that makes me the best tenor in the world, I’m not complaining, but it’s not the main goal.” Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
Joseph Calleja as the Duke in Verdi's 'Rigoletto' at the Washington National Opera, March-April 2008. Photo: Karin Cooper
We were disappointed to learn from Joseph, a red wine fan, that wine doesn't help you sing. To make sure he keeps his voice in tip-top condition, he makes sure he eats healthily and keeps talking to a minimum. Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
The Artist of the Year Award 2012 is the latest in a string of awards won by the tenor. In 1998 he won the Caruso Competition in Milan, and Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1999. Photo: Mathias Bothor / Decca 2011
Joseph Calleja as Macduff in Verdi's 'Macbeth' at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, April 2008. Photo: Marty Sohl / Metropolitan Opera.
A keen presence on social networking sites, Joseph is also a fan of older technology - his latest album is set to be released as a limited edition vinyl!
In September and October 2012, Joseph is playing Pinkerton in Puccini's 'Madam Butterfly' at the Vienna State Opera.
Classic FM's David Mellor selected Joseph's CD as 'Connoisseur's Choice' on The New Releases Show. "This new Decca CD is superb and one of the best crossover albums I’ve heard," he said.