€79 million and three years later, Wimbledon’s new retractable roof was finally unveiled this weekend. Marking the special celebration was a star-studded list of performers including Malta’s very own tenor Joseph Calleja. But while Calleja and his larger-than-life voice shined for five minutes straight on the stage, it was when he went live on Facebook right after that he turned the relatable-meter up a notch or five.
On Sunday afternoon, as Wimbledon’s No. 1 Court showed off its new roof (which can close in under 10 minutes and provide shelter to the 12,345 seats), tennis legends Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Lleyton Hewitt and Goran Ivanisevic, as well as current stars Venus Williams and Jamie Murray all geared up for a number of ceremonial exhibition matches. Before all that, however, the BBC live broadcast also hosted a performance by English star Paloma Faith and Malta’s very own Calleja, who sang a gut-wrenchingly beautiful rendition of the Bocelli classic Con Te Partirò.
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) May 19, 2019
With his stirring performance done and dusted, Joseph Calleja took to the seats to watch the exhibition matches… instantly becoming an adorable fanboy
“Hi, this is Joseph Calleja, here we are at Wimbledon,” the tenor started, visibly beside himself. “This is incredible, I just finished my performance, and look who’s on the court!”
Pointing the phone’s camera to the action, Calleja starts filming part of the exhibition matches, as Navratilova and McEnroe took to the court. But it didn’t take long for him to turn the camera back to his excited face.
“That’s amazing!” Calleja whispers, totally unable to contain his pure joy and childlike wonder. “Wow, just amazing.”
But Calleja wasn’t done just yet; switching back to the action on the court, he gave his Facebook fans a bit more of a taste of the exhibitions matches… before inevitably switching his camera back to him. “This is Joseph Calleja live from Wimbledon,” he smiled. “It’s incredible here, tennis legends…”
At this point, Calleja trails off, noticing someone in the audience filming him. What he does next is exactly what I would’ve done myself if I was ever an international superstar tenor sitting in a stadium and noticing someone filming me (spoiler: I’m not)
Spotting a woman filming him from just across the aisle, the tenor switches the camera onto her, before casually waving at her. Honestly, mood.
In proper fanboy style, Calleja got a couple of photos in with the tennis legends themselves, in a weekend that was clearly full of childhood dreams coming true. Christmas came early for Calleja, and we couldn’t be happier for him. Just look at that smile!