Maltese-born Joseph Calleja at the age of 16 started singing at the church choir. The film The Great Caruso starring Mario Lanza was his inspiration for his singing debut. In 1977 under the training of a Maltese tenor Paul Asciak he was chosen to act as Macduff in Macbeth. He also won an award at the Belvedere Hans Gabor and Caruso competition in Milan where his career took off.
He has gained great popularity and respect in every step of his career. He is much loved around the world for his ability as a natural tenor.
At the age of 33 years he has 28 principle roles and performed in New York, Metropolitan Opera, London’s Royal Opera House at Covent Garden and Vienna. He also has the best selling album in voice in the UK and Germany.
Joseph Calleja misses Malta so much that he is always eager to come back and stay with his family but especially for his annual concert every August to perform for the Maltese public with world remounted music artists.
Since he spends most of his time away from Malta, he has made it a point to coming back every year to organize a concert of opera music fusing elements of pop and classical sung by world music artists.
This has happened since 2009 when he started his first concert. His wish is to broaden the appeal for classical music by bringing international artists for his concert, in this way the Maltese come to listen to both being exposed more to classical.
Joseph Calleja has become a very popular person and is praised by the media and also popular operatic singers. Such a person at a young age has come a long way to perform in such a highly popular places around the world.
He sang Verdi, took part in the opera Tosca, barber of seville and others. Has been invitd to sing at the BBC Proms for several times. Has sung from USA to Japan, in so many countries where he is repeatedly invited again as the people love him so much.
He is the Malta Bank Of Valletta ambassador for music. A foundation has been set up with the bank offering further studies to prospective Maltese new singers to further their studies abroad and launch their carrier.
Colette Males, is a great fan of the tenor. Back to 1999 when she saw him the first time and kept on seeing him for all these years. She has traveled wherever she could to see his performances. After seeing him for the first time in The Barber of Seville in Washington when he was only 21. She was instantly hooked and after that performance went backstage to speak to him. For her - It’s a gift. He’s special. He’s Joseph.
She went straight to talk to him. After two years she became a close friend also to his family and parent whom she visits in Malta whenever she can.
For the past years she has become his mentor in helping him learn French. Due to this Joseph Calleja could take operatic parts in French.