Joseph Calleja is confronted by Malta protestors

Joseph Calleja is confronted by Malta protestors


norman lebrecht

April 23, 2018

The Maltese tenor faced a demonstration in London this weekend when he turned out to sing at a company which is involved in the island’s political controversies. The unsolved murder of a campaigning journalist has greatly heated the atmosphere.

Report here.



  • Caravaggio says:

    Well, Calleja, a very fine tenor, needs all the publicity he can get. What with Kaufmann, Beczala and Eyvazov in the limelight 24/7.

  • Sharon says:

    I once saw a film about Leonard Cohen using song and his performance at a music festival after about three days of meditation and prayer to calm down a crowd about to riot when the crowd believed that the organizers were excluding people and profiting from what they expected to be a free Woodstock like event.

    Morally Calleja’s action is a toughie. I understand his point that music should be above politics and can bring people together and be a force for peace.

    At the same time by appearing at an event sponsored by people who may be exploiting refugees and immigrants and who may even be involved in the murder of someone reporting on it, he appears to be endorsing the organization and saying, and in fact, he actually did say, that these things did not happen or happen as reported, which itself is a form of endorsement.

    Giving money to charity is a way of saying that he did not do this just for the money in spite of the controversy but instead had a higher motive.

    In the U.S. if something like this happened and the singer were affiliated with any sort of music institution dependent on donations and government funds the singer would probably be forced or eased out.

  • Don Fatale says:

    These political gangsters now have a house singer. Bravo! I’m very disappointed with Calleja’s involvement in this. Anything to do with the current Maltese administration and their unsavoury friends is toxic.

  • Zelda Macnamara says:

    And as he “strongly disagreed with Daphne’s writings”, that tells us enough about his motivation.

  • Derek says:

    I don’t claim any special insight or ability to read his mind but isn’t he doing what he says.

    He is not endorsing anyone but being professional and fulfilling a long standing commitment.

  • Pavarotto says:

    Calleja is a puppet of the horrible Malta Labour Party regime. He let himself be used to project an image of bliss and perfection when Malta is nothing but one hell of a corrupt, rogue state.

    This is a state-owned Airmalta advert “There is no place like Malta” which is utter nonsense.