August 01 - August 04, 2024

Joseph Calleja

Tenor, in Recital

With Nino Sanikidze

August 03, 7.30pm: Green Music Center, Weill Hall

Joseph Calleja

Joseph Calleja is one of the most acclaimed tenors of his generation, renowned for his golden-age timbre coupled with an excitingly modern delivery. Born on January 22, 1978, in Attard, Malta, Calleja began showing interest in music at an early age and was inspired by the recordings of legendary tenors like Mario Lanza and Giuseppe Di Stefano.

After winning the Caruso Competition in Milan in 1998 and later receiving a prize in the Plácido Domingo Operalia International Opera Competition, Calleja’s international career skyrocketed. He made his professional debut as Macduff in Verdi’s Macbeth at the Astra Theatre in Malta and has since graced the world’s leading opera stages, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Royal Opera House in London, and the Vienna State Opera.

Known for his roles in operas by Puccini and Verdi, including the titular role in Faust and as Alfredo in La Traviata, Calleja brings an emotive style and impeccable technique to each performance. His extensive discography includes critically acclaimed recordings of complete operas as well as several solo albums that highlight his broad vocal range and expressive nuance.

Beyond the stage, Joseph is a cultural ambassador for Malta, has been awarded the Medal for Service to the Republic, and is passionately involved in charitable works, including his own foundation aimed at supporting Maltese artistic talents. His contributions to music and culture have also earned him honorary doctorates from the University of Malta and the Open University of Malta.

As a dedicated performer with an undying passion for opera, Joseph Calleja continues to enchant audiences worldwide with his lyrical voice and charismatic stage presence.

Nino Sanikidze

Prior to joining the prestigious Shepherd School of Music as Artist Teacher of Opera Studies in the fall of 2023, Georgian pianist Nino Sanikidze spent nearly two decades at Los Angeles Opera – both as a Head Coach for the renowned Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program, and as a principal coach, pianist, and prompter for LAO’s main-stage productions.

Highly in demand as a guest coach, pianist and prompter, Dr. Sanikidze has been engaged for numerous productions at Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain; Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli, Italy; Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman; Teatro Municipal di Santiago, Chile; Bard Summerscape Festival in New York; Wichita Grand Opera, and Cleveland Opera.

A frequent collaborator with the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, her notable concert appearances include a recital with tenor Marcelo Álvarez and a recital with mezzo-soprano Elina Garanča. She has performed in a recital with world-renown guitarist Ángel Romero at “Palm Springs Life Festival” and Mezzo-Soprano Nancy Fabiola Herrera on Canary Islands’ “Zarzuela en el Mundo” recital tour. Since 2008 Dr. Sanikidze has been an official pianist for “Operalia” World Opera Competition and in this capacity has performed on some of the worlds most celebrated stages.

Dr. Sanikidze serves on a judging panel of the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition and Richard Tucker Music Foundations’ Study and Career Grant Auditions, as well as a Daegu International Opera Awards, Palm Springs Opera Guild Competition, Classical Singer Convention, Music Center Spotlight Awards, and Center Stage Opera Competition. Sought after clinician, she regularly visits Universities and Conservatories for Masterclasses and Residencies. She is currently a Faculty Artist at a prestigious Music Academy in Santa Barbara, CA.

Dr. Sanikidze is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Marilyn Horne Foundation Award for Excellence in Vocal Accompanying. She has attended such prestigious festivals as Music Academy of the West, Cleveland Art Song Festival, Songfest and Aspen Opera Center. In the years 2003-2005 she became the Young Artist coach at Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and from 2004 started working professionally at various opera companies.

In addition to her work at opera theaters and music schools, Dr. Sanikidze’s talents have been engaged in various capacities, ranging from translating and diction coaching choral recordings of a video game hit “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” to coaching classical voice finalists for “America’s Got Talent” to performing at nation-wide televised events, such as “Late Night with James Corden” (with Ailyn Perez and Luca Pisaroni) and at a funeral of the former First Lady Nancy Reagan (with Soprano Ana María Martínez), just to name a few.

Dr. Sanikidze serves as a Founding Board member of the Georgian Cultural and Educational center

The Program

Ah! tout est bien fini! – Le Cid – Massenet

Vidino divná přesladká, Prince aria – Rusalka – Dvořák

Marcha Funèbre – Don Carlo – Liszt Verdi paraphrase (Kamal Khan’s solo piece)

Ombra mai fu – Xerxes – Handel

Vaghissima sembianza – Stefano Donaudy

E lucevan le stelle – Tosca – Puccini

Mattinata – Leoncavallo


Niet tolka tot Kto Znall (None But The Lonely Heart) – Tchaikovsky

Ideale – Tosti

A vucchella – Tosti

Johannes Brahms Selection from Op.118 no. 1,2, and 3 (Kamal Khan’s solo pieces)

Moonriver – Mantovani & His Orchestra Parla Più Piano (From “The Godfather”) Amazing Grace – Mantovani & His Orchestra

Edelweiss – Mantovani & His Orchestra

Maria – West Side Story – Mantovani & His Orchestra

Tonight – West side story – Mantovani & His Orchestra