Blessed with “a golden-age voice” (The Sunday Times) that routinely inspires comparisons with legendary singers from earlier eras, Joseph Calleja will follow the success of The Maltese Tenor with a tribute to one of the most popular tenors of all time; the unique “crossover” star of the Hollywood musical – Mario Lanza.
This is an album that Joseph Calleja has always wanted to record. As a youth in Malta he saw Lanza in the cult film The Great Caruso and was so captivated that he gave up his predilection for Metallica and Iron Maiden and decided to become an opera singer
“Calleja doesn’t suffer from...self-imposed comparisons: the voice is burnished and focused; the top notes whammy yet unforced; the legato tone garnished with saccharine slithers but not sloppy. Calleja doesn’t do final consonants; and sometimes you wish his conductor (Steven Mercurio) had encouraged more ebb and flow. But these throbbing ballads will delight Calleja’s fans.” The Times, 8th September 2012 ***
“It's an unashamedly populist collection, Calleja rolling the Rs of "Granada" and "Arrivederci, Roma" with obvious relish in arrangements replete with castanets and trilling mandolins, before building to the full football climax with spirited renditions of "Nessun Dorma" and a mighty "You'll Never Walk Alone".” The Independent, 8th September 2012 ***
“Calleja is not a Mario Lanza: he's a gifted lyric tenor with a voice that is most comfortable in the head...there's a nice throb in the voice in Lara's Granada...and Tosti's 'A vucchella' would seduce a slab of marble. But 'Vesti la giubba'. 'Cielo e mar' and 'Nessun dorma' all lack vocal drama.” BBC Music Magazine, December 2012 ***
“an imaginative display of Calleja's art and interpretative approach, clearly captured by Decca's recording team.” International Record Review, December 2012
“Here is one of the most beautiful tenor voices now before the public, treated with musicality, style and feeling...but don’t expect the adrenalin kick that Mario Lanza was able to convey.” MusicWeb International, December 2012