Joseph Calleja Headlines 2011 Nobel Prize Concert on Dec 8

Joseph Calleja is the latest world-class artist to be chosen as the featured soloist at the Nobel Prize Concert, held annually in Stockholm on December 8 in honor of the year’s Nobel Laureates. For the 2011 concert, Calleja – “one of the finest lyric tenors before the public today” (Associated Press) – will perform a selection of favorite Italian and French opera arias with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic under Marcello Mottadelli. It was with a similar program that the singer’s most recent solo album, The Maltese Tenor, debuted last month in the number one spot on the Billboard Classical Traditional Chart in the US, having already topped similar lists in the UK and Germany. The disc includes an aria from Gounod’s Faust, and it is in the title role of a new production of this grand opera that Calleja returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera in January 2012.

Held annually before an audience that includes the Nobel Laureates and the Swedish Royal family, the Nobel Prize Concert plays an important part in the official Nobel Week program. Only artists of the highest caliber are showcased; most recently, these were violinist Joshua Bell (2010) and pianist Martha Argerich (2009). As this year’s guest star, Calleja will sing arias by Verdi, Puccini, Massenet, Saint-SaĆ«ns, Pietri, Mascagni, and Leoncavallo in Stockholm’s Concert House.

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