Album: The Maltese Tenor, Joseph Calleja / L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande / Marco Armiliato (Decca)

In 2002, 24 year-old Joseph Calleja made his UK debut in Welsh National Opera's Oval Office staging of Rigoletto.

Fast forward nine years and the Maltese tenor has conquered the Met with no sign of a Villazón-style burn-out. The solidity of his technique is evident in this calorific recital: it takes muscle to support such delicate messa di voce. There's a rare, old-fashioned sweetness of timbre, but perhaps too much caution for Offenbach's Hoffmann.