Popular tenor Joseph Calleja addressed a group of Maltese protestors who had gathered outside the Drapers’ Hall in London to protest against him singing at an event organised by Henley & Partners tonight on behalf of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.
Protestors wore masks of Joseph Muscat and held copies of Maltese passports, as well as slogans with the last words Daphne Caruana Galizia had written before her assassination.
“Even though I strongly disagreed with many of Daphne’s writings, the fact is that she is dead,” Calleja said. “I am not here to endorse Henley & Partners but to fulfil a commitment that was made years ago before all this hullabaloo. I am a professional and this is what I do. I am here to sing. I am not scared of this protest because I have done nothing wrong, although of course you are free to disagree with me. I am here as a professional and as a cultural ambassador and I wear my ring on my finger. I could have gone into the Hall straight away but I came here to speak to you first.”
Protestors asked Calleja whether he considers his performance “honourable” and demanded to know how much he is being paid by Henley & Partners for singing at tonight’s event. However, Calleja refused to tell them.
“I know you disagree with me and I understand completely,” he said. Lets agree to disagree. This isn’t an endorsement of Henley & Partners. When I sang at the Commonwealth a couple of years ago, how many of the leaders in front of me were dictators and murderers who killed tonnes of people? I am here against the advice of all my lawyers and all my friends, because I am not only cultural ambassador when it suits me.”