Photo Credit: Darrin Zammit Lupi
Plácido Domingo and Joseph Calleja thrilled a sell-out audience with a captivating repertoire of popular classics in the picture-perfect setting of Fort Manoel on Tuesday night.
Featuring as the special guest at Calleja’s 25th anniversary concert, Maestro Domingo rolled back the years with stellar renditions of Spanish classics Granada and No Puede Ser.
Calleja brought a touch of West Side Story to the evening before the two opera stars got together to bring the crowd to their feet with sparkling performances of Torna a Surriento and Brindisi.
The Maltese tenor thanked the Spanish legend for providing him with a “goosebumps moment” after fulfilling a long-term objective to sing alongside Domingo in Malta. The two have performed together on several occasions in the past but until now never got together in Calleja’s homeland.
The night was also illuminated by the silky voices of Italian-American soprano Jeanette Vecchione-Donatti and mezzo-soprano Marvic Monreal, Laetitia Grimaldi Spitzer and Gillian Zammit, who also directed the BOV Children’s Choir that took part in the concert.
As well as cajoling the audience, Maestro Domingo also jokingly turned his hand to conducting the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra while the night’s two conductors, Sergey Smbatyan and guest Ramon Tebar, were on stage together for the rousing finale.
Joseph Calleja – 25th Anniversary Concert was produced by Mint Media with the support of the Malta Tourism Authority, the European Foundation for Support of Culture, Bank of Valletta and Midi.
European Foundation for Support of Culture President Konstantin Ishkhanov said: “Huge congratulations to Joseph for such a fantastic evening. It was truly an honour to witness him and Maestro Domingo performing together on stage in what was, I think, one of the best operatic concerts that Malta has ever seen. Well done to all the amazing singers, artists and musicians who took part in this wonderful event, but most of all to Joseph for reminding us all once again, in this special anniversary year, just what a unique and legendary talent he is.”
BOV Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Charles Azzopardi said: “BOV, as a firm supporter of Maltese talent, and believing in the capabilities of youths in the world of performing arts, has been supporting the children’s choir since 2013 and, along with Joseph Calleja himself, are the founding members of the BOV Joseph Calleja Foundation, which over the past years has assisted over 90 budding artists to further their studies in the different spheres of performing arts.”
Malta Tourism Authority CEO Carlo Micallef said: “The Malta Tourism Authority is proud to have once again supported the annual Joseph Calleja concert – a concert which attracts tourists from all over the world, making their time spent in Malta a little bit more special.”