Just a quick note upon hearing Joseph Calleja's Macduff over Sirius.
In the house the overpowering first impression -- to my ears, at any rate -- of his sound is its spaciousness. It's within this heroic-scale frame that his distinctive throwback vibrato fits and works, bringing character and life to his lyric sound. The close-miked broadcast squashes any sense of space and size on top of making the vibrato more prominent in an absolute sense. As is so often the case, a very different impression.
His most recent solo CD ("The Golden Voice"), on the other hand, seems engineered to hide the distinctive timbre his vibrato imparts, and a lot of less detailed speakers will effectively erase it. But its main problem is something else: specifically, that the disc was recorded almost exactly three years ago, when he was just 27. Every year for a young singer is crucial, and the difference between the struggling-with-pitch tenor of promise on the disc and the remarkable singer of even a year-and-a-half later was huge. And the show-stopper we're hearing this month is nowhere near captured on disc.
UPDATE (5/14): From his teacher's liner notes for this disc, it appears that Calleja's professional debut was as Macduff -- in Malta, 11 years ago.