Cher Public

Out of the frying pan

Met press office: “Following today’s earlier announcement of his cancellation,  Joseph Calleja has recovered and now plans to sing Edgardo in this evening’s performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor as originally scheduled.”  

Previously: Salvatore Cordella will sing Edgardo in this evening’s performance of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, replacing Joseph Calleja, who is ill.

  • Beggers can’t be choosers. Ay dios mio!

  • taminosboyfriend

    He is one of the worst singers ever on the Met stage

    • LT

      And how many people can claim such a distinction?

    • Krunoslav

      Um… let’s have some perspective. Pekka Nuotio? Leonard del Ferro? Ion Piso?These are legends, before my time.

      But in my hearing: Kristjan Johansson? Nicole Lorange? Myrto Papatanasiu, for that matter?

  • John L

    Hmmm my chances of seeing Calleja in the Boston Celebrity Series in less than 2 weeks is looking pretty unlikely.

  • moi

    These comments made me wanna check it out for myself… so I’m taping tonight’s live stream.
    After all he is a cover stepping in, non?
    And the covers are not given a show nowadays.
    He got good reactions for his Cassio in Torino in October.

  • Signor Bruschino

    A cover is going on at the Met? Is this an April Fools joke?

  • Constantine A. Papas

    He reminds me of Mauro whom I never liked: Crude and bland.

    • Operngasse

      I would like to second this sentiment.

      Ermanno Mauro was one o the worst tenors I have seen perform. Crude and bland is a perfect description of his singing, and a friend nailed his acting as lurch to the front of the stage, face the audience regardless of what is supposed to be taking place, and bellow.

      • DonCarloFanatic

        I remember Mauro’s name only because I hated his performances.

        • steveac10

          “I remember Mauro’s name only because I hated his performances.”

          Unfortunately in the 80’s he was nearly impossible to avoid at the Met. At least the Met now only books mediocrities for an opera or two. Back then we had them for the whole season.

          • mia apulia

            I remember thinking “if he can get on the Met stage there must be hope for me somewhere”--but there wasn’t, really!

          • actfive

            BUT Mauro was almost always sharing roles with Giacomini in the 80’s at the Met, so he could be avoided…

  • LT

    Now watch Calleja cancel after act I.

    • Milady DeWinter

    • Per the Uncertainty Principle, we can only know either Calleja’s position at a point in time or his momentum. Mere humans cannot know both.

  • manou

    Yes, I am jumping in for myself. Will explain all later.— Joseph Calleja (@MalteseTenor) April 7, 2015

    • Cicciabella

      Oh dear, I hope the explanation doesn’t involve candles and a statue of the Madonna that sheds salty tears.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • arepo

    My heart goes out to him. He is such a beautiful human being inside as well as possessing such a wonderful instrument. I don’t want him to abuse it. I only hope he wasn’t coerced into something against his better judgment.
    Just let him rest his cords and get better.

  • antikitschychick

    really feel bad for Calleja. He doesn’t seem to be having the best season; hope his health improves so he can go back to singing as beautifully as he normally does.

  • That was sad to hear. :( hope he doesn’t do permanent damage to his voice this way.

  • ducadiposa

    I’m confused -- I listened to some of the performance last night but never heard who finally sang Edgardo! To me it didn’t sound like Calleja at all -- I assumed it was the original einspringer, Cordella. If that was Calleja, he was having a difficult night. He should be careful…

    • Milady DeWinter

      It was Calleja.

      • ducadiposa

        Thanks! Wow, hope he’s ok today.

        • tatiana

          Has anyone heard or read anything about what the story was Tuesday night (I’m not on Twitter so I don’t know whether his promised explanation ever came through) or whether he’s thinking of dropping out of tomorrow night’s performance? I was SO distressed for him Tuesday night! I thought about him stepping in for Villazon when the Met’s “Hoffmann” was new and wonder if he’s just too nice a guy for his own good. I could be totally off base, but I hope he wasn’t pushed into singing against his better judgment.

          • jacobelli

            He tweeted this yesterday:

            “Question and answer event for those of you in the area tomorrow Thursday 9th at 8pm New York time on my public facebook!”

            Here’s the link to the tweet: https://twitter.com/MalteseTenor/status/585807280093978624

            He’ll probably get some questions about Tuesday night.

            • tatiana

              Thanks, jacobelli--I had missed that. Will wait and see what news/info comes tonight.

            • chicagoing

              Did anyone participate in the chat last night? Anything to report on Mr. Calleja?

            • LT

              Joseph Calleja Hi Susan. When I cancelled at midday I did so in the best interest of the theatre so that they would have time to make arrangements. In the evening I got a call from the administration asking me how I felt and I replied much better, at which point they asked me to go on. That is exactly how it happened. Please understand that the Metropolitan Opera will always do what it thinks its best its audience and we artists agree with this stance as YOU are what makes opera performances possible.

  • meowiaclawas

    Oh, my poor Maltese bear-cub! I HEART YOU, BABY!!! Come over to my flat, I’ll snuggle you from behind and cuddle you back to health! Presto, presto, baybeee!!!

  • k_davenport

    Can’t believe people are feeling sorry for this oversized lumberjack with a tiny little voice. Are tenor egos so big that trying to find out how pitiful the state of the voice is in front of a paying audience is more important than having consideration for the music and for their colleagues? I’d understand one performance but four or five? He knew from the premiere that was no cold and that his vocal chords were damaged, so we were all lied to and he’s only making the vocal problem worse. How embarrassing was last Tuesday’s live Lucia on Sirius? I was in the house and it sounded dreadful. Who does he think he is for Gods sakes.

    • moorfan

      Davenport, you are a poor excuse for a human being, you know that?

      “He knew from the premiere that was no cold and that his vocal chords were damaged, so we were all lied to and he’s only making the vocal problem worse.”

      Substantiate your accusation. Exactly. You cannot. Because it isn’t true. A wise mantra for life is to not speak authoritatively about a subject of which you know nothing.

      “Fans” like you make me sick.

      • k_davenport

        hmm attacking the messenger because you don’t like the message? I stand by post, you’re the one defending the indefensible. Even it was a cold there’s no excuse to put the audience through 6 performances of dreadful singing. He was absolutely awful last night again, I was in the house. I can understand and sympathise with one atrocious performance for whatever reason (like the Don Carlo today) but six? SIX? Just jump off a bridge. And take Calleja with you.

        • You are new here, so I’m going to give you some advice: getting angry at the person you’re arguing is a quick path to moderation. Let’s try to respect each other even if we don’t respect each other’s ideas.

          • k_davenport

            thank you La Cieca, someone “got angry” at me first and called me “a poor excuse for a human being” no? lol it’s all good, I forgive them. Opera fans are supposed to be passionate.

        • quoth the maven

          I was at the first Lucia, and two things were clear (and I should have imagined would have been clear to anyone who understands singing:

          !) Calleja was indeed suffering from a cold.
          2) He’s a wonderful singer.

          • thirdlady

            and, frankly, shouldn’t anyone who misspells “vocal cords” on an opera blog be subject to some sort of automatic blocking?

            • moorfan

              I was in the house for two of those “atrocious”performances that you cite, and thought they were not atrocious at all. There is no doubt that Calleja was not at his best; even he freely acknowledges that. However, “atrocious” the performance was not.

              If he had cancelled all six, and you had to listen to the cover for those performances, I’m guessing you would be trashing him even more.

              It is okay to say that you did not like his performance, but to attack his character as you did says more negative things about you than anything.

            • thirdlady

              really sorry, moorfan, my spelling quibble was totally not directed at you but at the original, vitriolic post! i replied in the wrong place…

              i also saw calleja in the house, and hope he recovers soon…it was heartbreaking to hear such a beautiful voice in a situation of such duress…

            • k_davenport

              dear panel of opera luminaries and distinguished guests of this renowned blog, apologies for the misspelling of “chords,” the iPhone did it, not me I swear. When you sing like a hoarse goat, to me that qualifies as “atrocious.” And Calleja did it not only once or twice, but 6 times. Who cares if it was a cold or phlegm or male menopause, fact is, he didn’t belong on stage. And unless he had a gun to his head out of respect for the audience, his colleagues and for the music, he should’ve canceled. Period. His reputation is my opinion is damaged.