The Malta Independent 23 May 2018, Wednesday

Italian Ambassador honours Joseph Calleja

Friday, 18 August 2017, 14:43 Last update: about 10 months ago

Italian Ambassador Giovanni Umberto De Vito today honoured tenor Joseph Calleja with the high Italian decoration of ‘Cavaliere al Merito della Repubblica Italiana’. The Maltese tenor was given the award for his outstanding artistic talents in performing Italian composers’ work, his exceptional portrayals of numerous leading roles in Italian operas and his passionate performance of classic and renowned Italian songs.

The Italian Ambassador said that “this recognition would like to highlight the special relationship of Italian music, language, culture and a way of life we feel with Maestro Calleja. We have always had a special and long standing bond when it comes it Italian music and culture.”

Calleja is celebrating his 20th anniversary of his professional career on the world stage. The Italian Ambassador congratulated Calleja for this highest Italian recognition, and spoke about the Maltese tenor’s perfect mastery of the Italian language in continuing a classic tradition of Italian opera performers.

Calleja was also congratulated on his philanthropic activities, in particular the Joseph Calleja Foundation which was created to support Maltese children from helpless families and young artists to advance their artistic and musical talents.

The ceremony began with a performance from two younger opera singers, baritone Charles Buttigieg and mezzo soprano Clare Ghigo, who were accompanied by pianist Irina Fedcenko. The singers were aided by Calleja’s foundation to kick-start their career.

Calleja thanked the ambassador for such an honour and said “a lot of my work has been concentrated in Italy and my formation was there, so I am deeply grateful to Italy for that.”

“I am a bit emotional and overwhelmed by the award,” Calleja concluded.

The award ceremony was held at the Italian Ambassador's residence in Ta’ Xbiex. 


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