FROM 20 February to 11 March 2023, Pieter Toerien in association with Cape Town Opera will present Master Class at Theatre On The Bay, a riveting play about Maria Callas written by the late American playwright, librettist and five-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally.
Directed by CTO’s artistic director Magdalene Minnaar, with musical direction by José Dias, the two-act play stars Sandra Prinsloo as Callas and features well-known arias by Verdi, Puccini and Bellini. Prinsloo, in a purely acting role, will be joined by a stellar supporting Cape Town Opera cast including Soloist Brittany Smith together with CTO’s Judith Neilson Young Artists Alida Scheepers and Tylor Lamani as the aspiring opera singers mentored by Callas.
Musical director José Dias takes on a dual role as pianist and actor. Master Class is a portrait of Callas in the context of the master classes she gave at the Juilliard School in New York in 1971, at a time when she herself had not sung in six years. In the play she is seen working with three students – two sopranos and a tenor. Aside from her biting wit, she is often blunt and even harsh in her efforts to mentor and prepare the singers for the cut-throat world of operatic performance. The play’s riveting theatricality is truly ignited by Callas’ emotional outbursts and the soaring arias performed under her guidance.
2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Maria Callas’ birth. Her rise to stardom and her recognition as the greatest dramatic singer of all time remains unchallenged. In Master Class, Terrence McNally recreates her genius, recounts her triumphs and tribulations and reveals the tempestuous personality that often led to clashes and disputes with opera managers and colleagues during her career.
Tickets through Webtickets or 021 438 3301. No under 13s.