Joseph Calleja with initiatives for children and adolescents to achieve success with their talent
Tenor Joseph Calleja has achieved worldwide fame with his talent. Through his Foundation, he is also striving to ensure that young artists are not lost by the wayside because they do not have the means to work on their talent while bringing music closer to thousands of disadvantaged youngsters. To this end, he is working on a concert to collect funds for the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation.
In the five years since it has been set up, Calleja’s Foundation has reached more than 1000 boys and girls and helped them to discover the beauty of music through various cultural programmes. The aim of this Foundation is to help local talent to continue to develop and improve their talent. Two of these artists are Marvic Monreal and Nicola Said.
The Foundation has also helped, Charles Buttigieg, who at the age of 20 has been awarded a scholarship and accepted at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
“I have been following his progress for more than four years and we have helped him in many ways throughout his life. This is something major because while I do not want to inflate him too much, the fact that he has been accepted at the Curtis Institute is significant – the rate of acceptance of students is about 3.2%, in other words, it is easier to enter Harvard, Stanford or Yale than it is to enter the Curtis Institute,” says Joseph Calleja.
Meanwhile, the tenor is preparing for a concert which will take place at the Manoel Theatre.
”I have convinced soprano Jessica Pratt, baritone Vittorio Vitelli and conductor/violinist David Chan from the Metropolitan Opera, to come and perform for free at this concert. In other words, all the funds will go towards the Foundation which is doing a lot of good,” he added.
2018 was a very busy year for the tenor which started with a performance of Tosca at Covent Garden, and a number of concerts and operas which took him to various European countries and the US. In an interview with TVM, Joseph Calleja said that next year he expects to mark his 100th performance.
“I have to work very hard to retain the level I am at now, but thank God, things are going very well,” he says.
Calleja’s annual summer concert has become an annual event with the Maltese audience and next year the famous tenor Andrea Bocelli will be his guest once again.
”We have become great friends over the years, and he was the one who expressed his wish to come back and perform at another concert,” Calleja pointed out.
From the beginning of his career, 21 years ago, Joseph Calleja has carried the title of Malta’s Ambassador…long before he was appointed as Malta’s first Cultural Ambassador.
“From the beginning, international critics have always described me as The Maltese Tenor and in fact, even my record label had liked this phrase and made it into an album by Decca records,” Joseph Calleja said.