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NEWS| Wednesday, 01 August 2007

Renaissance drive home in a Jag, but tenor resents ‘sale of image’

Matthew Vella

A dispute over the sale of Joseph Calleja’s performance in Mdina on DVD appears not to be the only reason why the acclaimed tenor has severed relations with promoters Renaissance Productions Ltd (RPL) earlier in July.
Yesterday, sources told this newspaper the tenor “resented the sale of his image” on adverts of automobile importers Gasan, which signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Renaissance Productions.
But RPL director Anton Tabone said qualms over the use of Calleja’s image on adverts of Gasan, which imports Jaguar automobiles, would have to be dealt with by the singer and the company.
While Calleja is said to resent the “financial gain” made by Renaissance over the use of his image, his former promoters secured nothing less than a Jaguar automobile as part of their three-year deal with Gasan.
“We have a three-year deal with Gasan on all events, not just Joseph Calleja’s,” Tabone said. “For example, the Jaguar logo is being used on the advert promoting Liza Minelli. But as for Calleja’s image, that’s an issue between Calleja and Gasan.”
On Monday, Joseph Calleja and his soprano wife Tatiana Lisnic filed a judicial protest against Renaissance Productions Ltd and the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) for advertising the sale of DVDs of their concert without authorisation.
They claim their 10th anniversary concert in Mdina last month was being advertised for sale on DVD, under a profit sharing agreement between PBS and Renaissance.
The couple is claiming breach of contract, saying it was never discussed – still less agreed – that Renaissance would be involved in the sale of the concert’s recordings,.
Shortly after the performance, Calleja appointed NNG Promotions as his local representatives in Malta with immediate effect.
NNG has organised a number of concerts in recent years for international stars including Sting, Roger Waters, Elton John, Eros Ramazzotti, Bryan Adams and Josè Carreras.

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