Calleja, Kovalova perform at Katara
DOHA THE Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gareth Jones joined tenor Joseph Calleja and soprano Nataliya Kovalova for a remarkable concert at the Katara Opera House on Saturday. It was marked by performance of a selection of arias and duettos by master composers Verdi and Puccini, among others.
Joseph Calleja, born in Malta, started singing at the age of 16, making his debut on the operatic stage three years later. He recently performed at the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Stockholm, and was recently appointed Malta’s first Cultural Ambassador.
Calleja is one of the mostsought- after tenors by leading opera houses on both sides of the Atlantic. He has previously collaborated with some of the world’s best-known tenors, say, Plácido Domingo, and is all set to begin a series of concerts across Europe in the next few months.
Speaking to Qatar Tribune, Calleja said, “This is my first visit to Qatar. I am pleasantly surprised at many similarities between Qatar and my own country Malta. For example, the language, Maltese, has a lot in common with the language spoken here.” Asked about the performance, Calleja added, “I’m very happy with it. I think it was an exciting concert, but of course it is the audience who have to judge. I would certainly like to come back to Qatar for another show.
‘Nerja li jeroura’, as we say in Maltese, which means ‘we’d love to come back!’” Katara’s Cultural Affairs Director Dr Emad Sultan said, “We are excited about this performance, which brings together world-class performers such as Joseph Calleja and Nataliya Kovalova to play alongside the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Katara continues to build cultural bridges by providing a platform for aspiring artists and worldclass performers, which contributes to our overall mission, which is to educate and entertain.” Ukrainian soprano Natalyia Kovalova made her acclaimed debut in 2009 at the Palau de les Arts Valencia in the role of Marguerite before performing as Suor Angelica in Düsseldorf.
Kovalova regularly appears in renowned concert halls like Berliner Konzerthaus, Gewandhaus Leipzig, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Essen Philharmonic and Berlin Philharmonic. The award winning soprano has performed alongside Jonas Kauffman who played at Katara’s Opera House last month.
Following the concert, the performers received a standing ovation and, amid cheers from the audience, both Calleja and Kovalova returned for encores.