E Lucevan le Stelle… Joseph Calleja with Simon Lepper
Joseph Calleja, tenor
Simon Lepper, piano
“Only one lyric tenor on the scene today has the honeyed tone and ingratiating style to make comparisons to Pavarotti and Gigli seem serious, and it is Calleja, the man from Malta… an artist of the first rank.” New Yorker
Blessed with a golden-age voice that routinely inspires comparisons to “legendary singers from earlier eras: Jussi Björling, Beniamino Gigli, even Enrico Caruso” [Associated Press], Maltese-born Joseph Calleja has quickly become one of the most acclaimed and sought-after tenors today. His expansive discography and frequent appearances on the world’s leading opera and concert stages prompted NPR to hail him as “arguably today’s finest lyric tenor,” and led to his being voted Gramophone magazine’s Artist of the Year. A Grammy-nominated recording artist for Decca Classics, he has released five solo albums for the label.
Simon Lepper read music at King’s College, Cambridge before studying piano accompaniment with Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music and later with Ruben Lifschitz at the Fondation Royaumont. He is a currently professor of collaborative piano and a vocal repertoire coach at the Royal College of Music, London. Since 2003 Simon has been an official accompanist for the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
The festival is proud to be presenting Joseph Calleja in recital tonight, with pianist Simon Lepper, for a performance that will surely melt everyone’s heart, featuring some of Calleja’s favourite songs and arias.