Being hailed as the next Pavarotti, tenor Joseph Caleja says “There is only ever going to be one Pavarotti.” Joseph Caleja, also known as The Maltese Tenor, performed Verdi’s Requiem at the Royal Albert Hall in London’s Proms last week. He said that had been a dream come true as he had been spellbound by the film “The Man Who Knew Too Much” when he was a child of seven. The film climaxes with a clash of cymbols at the Royal Albert Hall and ever since it had been one of his ambitions to sing there. He added that, as a performer you are so close to the audience that it is wonderful to see the expressions on their faces and that, if you’re doing well, you can see the people nodding their approval! It had been a “very emotional and inspirational performance” for him.
Asked if he thought that opera is going in the right direction he said that: “Opera should be for everyone. It has to move with the times and is not something that’s just for the elite anymore.” He approved of the performances being shown in cinemas across the world, sometimes in 3D.
When he was a boy of thirteen or fourteen, he had watched the Mario Lanza film “The Great Caruso”. In the film Lanza is seen singing holding a glass of red wine so the next time he had to go to choir practice he had worked out that red wine was obviously good for your throat. He poured some into a plastic water bottle and went along to the practice, explaining to the priest when asked what he thought he was doing, that he had seen it in the film. The priest was not convinced!