Calleja began singing at the age of 16 and three years later made his opera début as Macduff Macbeth at the Astra Theatre, Malta. He has since gone on to appear with the world’s leading opera companies.
In 2002 he made his Royal Opera début as the Duke of Mantua Rigoletto, and has since sung many roles there: Alfredo Traviata, Gabriele Adorno Boccanegra, Rodolfo Bohème, the title role in Faust, Riccardo Ballo in Maschera, Pollione Norma, and Cavaradossi Tosca.
Recent highlights include Cavaradossi Tosca (Aix en Provence), title characters in new productions of Faust and Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Metropolitan Opera), Duca Rigoletto (Vienna State Opera), Alfredo Traviata opposite Renée Fleming, Adorno Boccanegra alongside Placido Domingo, Bohème opposite Anna Netrebko, and Traviata (Lyric Opera of Chicago). Maria Stuarda alongside Joyce DiDonato in concert (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Rigoletto (Bavarian State Opera), Don José Carmen (Oper Frankfurt) in a staging by Barrie Kosky, and Ruggero in Rolando Villazón’s staging of Puccini’s La Rondine (Deutsche Oper Berlin).
Calleja was selected as Malta’s first cultural ambassador in 2012, and was recently named a brand ambassador for Air Malta. With Malta’s Bank of Valletta he has founded the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, helping children and families in need.
In the Bonhams glossy magazine, Joseph Calleja told Lucinda Bredin about his favourite room: a side chapel in Valetta Cathedral with Caravaggio’s Beheading of John the Baptist. Around are golden swirls and this is where Joseph’s singing life began.
Joseph played Cavaradossi, opening our new opera house in 2017.
He has a very nice new website.