- La Traviata, opera: Lunge da lei...De' miei bollenti spiriti...
- La Traviata, opera: O mio rimorso!
- Macbeth, opera: O figli, o figli miei!...Ah, la paterna mano
- Rigoletto, opera: Questa o quella
- Rigoletto, opera: Ella mi fu rapita!...Parmi veder le lagrime...
- Rigoletto, opera: Duca, duca!...
- Rigoletto, opera: Possente amor mi chiama
- Rigoletto, opera: La donna è mobile
- L'elisir d'amore, opera: Quanto è bella
- Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Tombe degli avi miei...Fra poco a me ricovero...
- Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Oh meschina...
- Lucia di Lammermoor, opera: Tu che a Dio spiegasti l'ali
- Adriana Lecouvreur, opera: La dolcissima effigie
- L'Arlesiana, opera: Lamento di Federico ("È la solita storia")
- Madama Butterfly (Madame Butterfly), opera: Addio fiorito asil
On this introductory recording, the young maltese tenor Joseph Calleja displays the elegant, self-possessed singing that has made him a hot prospect on European stages. With the likes of conductor Riccardo Chailly weighing in behind him, Calleja is clearly on the fast track to success. That kind of backing doesn't come easily for a young singer. But Calleja clearly has some growing to do, and this recording is best viewed as a glimpse of an emerging talent. The main strength of Calleja's voice is its youthful quality. It's a lively sound that never lapses into the labored muscling that you often hear from operatic tenors in pursuit of loudness above all else. That will never be in the cards for Calleja, who has one of the lightest tenor voices to come along in a long time. As a result, he explores a much softer range of dynamics than listeners might be accustomed to in this music, often with charming results. He never seems to go for more than is available to him, which is a refreshing quality. But he also often lapses into nasality on certain vowels, disrupting the easy flow of his sound. His musical inexperience shows in the shaping of many phrases, some of which seem clipped, rushed, or inadequately motivated. The most appealing tracks are his "Questa o quella" from Verdi's "Rigoletto," which is by far the most stylish offering on the album, and, somewhat surprisingly, his "Tombe degli avi miei...Fra poco a me ricovero" from Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." The "only try this on recordings" awards go to "Addio fiorito asil" from Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" and "Lamento di Federico" from Cilea's "L'arlesiana," both of which are too heavy for Calleja. Chailly and the Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra Milan are outstanding throughout -- no singer could ask for better.