The Maltese Tenor

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Every few years there's considerable hype about a young singer heralded as the Next Great Tenor. There is generally more hype than substance in these promotions, but in the case of Joseph Calleja, it's easy to imagine that if he manages his voice and career well, he may well live up to the exalted expectations. The Maltese Tenor, released in 2011 when he was 33, is his third solo album of operatic arias, and with it he seems to have hit his stride. It comes on the heels of a series of acclaimed performances at some of the world's top opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and the Vienna State Opera. Critics have frequently commented that his is a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Every few years there's considerable hype about a young singer heralded as the Next Great Tenor. There is generally more hype than substance in these promotions, but in the case of Joseph Calleja, it's easy to imagine that if he manages his voice and career well, he may well live up to the exalted expectations. The Maltese Tenor, released in 2011 when he was 33, is his third solo album of operatic arias, and with it he seems to have hit his stride. It comes on the heels of a series of acclaimed performances at some of the world's top opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, and the Vienna State Opera. Critics have frequently commented that his is a voice reminiscent of the golden age of bel canto, and their accolades don't seem misplaced, based on his accomplished performances on this album. He focuses on Romantic Italian and French opera, but apart from the music from "Tosca," "La bohème," and "Faust," the selections come mostly from the periphery of the repertoire -- Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra," Boito's "Mefistofele," Puccini's "Manon Lescaut," Massenet's "Manon," Bizet's "Les pêcheurs de perles," Offenbach's "Les contes d'Hoffmann" -- many of them roles that he had just recently sung on-stage. The basic quality of his voice -- large, glowing, open, vibrant, and ringing but warmly Italianate -- is supported by an assured, effortless-sounding technique that produces shapely legato arcs, and it's the combination that sends critics scrambling for superlatives and comparisons with great tenors of the past. His exemplary vocal production and his colorful, intense interpretations are consistent throughout the album. In the two arias from "Tosca" his strengths are on full display, in the lush Romantic ardor of "Recondita armonia" and the subdued melancholy of "E lucevan le stelle." It's in small details, though, like the startling, focused power of his entrance in "O Inferno" from "Simon Boccanegra," and in "Salut! demeure chaste et pure" from "Faust," the way his radiant, soaring final high C fades away almost to nothingness, that his distinctiveness is most pronounced. Marco Armiliato leads l'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in distinguished, beautifully nuanced accompaniment. Decca's sound is clean, nicely rounded, and the balance is excellent.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/24/2011
  • Label: Decca
  • UPC: 028947827207
  • Catalog Number: 001574702
  • Sales rank: 51,051

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 La bohème, opera: Act 1. Che gelida manina - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (4:45)
  2. 2 La bohème, opera: Act 1. O soave fanciulla - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (4:09)
  3. 3 Simon Boccanegra, opera: Act 2. O inferno! ... Sento avvampar nell'anima - Giuseppe Verdi & Marco Armiliato (5:01)
  4. 4 Les contes d'Hoffmann, opera in 4 acts: Prologue. Il était une fois à la cour d'Eisenach - Jacques Offenbach & Marco Armiliato (5:20)
  5. 5 Tosca, opera: Act 1. Recondita armonia - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (2:46)
  6. 6 Tosca, opera: Act 2. E lucevan le stelle - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (3:06)
  7. 7 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Act 1. Dai campi, dai prati - Arrigo Boito & Marco Armiliato (2:38)
  8. 8 Mefistofele, opera in prologue, 4 acts & epilogue: Epilogue. Giunto sul passo estremo - Arrigo Boito & Marco Armiliato (2:57)
  9. 9 Faust, opera: Act 3. Quel trouble inconnu me pénètre! ... Salut! - Charles Gounod & Marco Armiliato (5:55)
  10. 10 Manon Lescaut, opera: Act 1. Ma se vi talenta ... Tra voi, belle, brune - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (1:40)
  11. 11 Manon Lescaut, opera: Act 1. Donna non vidi mai - Giacomo Puccini & Giuseppe Giacosa (2:53)
  12. 12 Manon, opera in 5 acts: Act 3. Je suis seul! Seul enfin! ... Ah! Fuyez, do - Jules Massenet & Marco Armiliato (4:54)
  13. 13 Luisa Miller, opera: Act 2. Oh! fede negar potessi agli occhi miei! ... - Giuseppe Verdi & Marco Armiliato (5:06)
  14. 14 Un ballo in maschera, opera: Act 3. Forse la soglia attinse ... Ma se m'è forza - Giuseppe Verdi & Marco Armiliato (5:15)
  15. 15 Les Pêcheurs de perles, opera in 3 acts: Act 2. De mon amie, fleur endormie ... Léila! Léil - Georges Bizet & Marco Armiliato (9:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Joseph Calleja Primary Artist
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