Vancouver Opera Company Launches Theatre Wing with Tony Award-winning Play about Maria Callas – Master Class
Opera Mariposa inaugurates the Mariposa Theatre Wing with Terrence McNally’s Master Class, starring Jessie Award winner Laura Di Cicco as the world’s most famous soprano
Opera Mariposa, a critically acclaimed company for local and emerging artists, is launching its new theatre wing with the Tony Award-winning play Master Class by Terrence McNally. The play, which offers a glimpse into the life and psyche of legendary opera diva Maria Callas, will be presented at Marpole United Church on February 19-28 (Fridays-Sundays). Mariposa’s production features a multi-award-winning cast headed by Jessie Award recipient Laura Di Cicco, and the show includes musical highlights by Puccini, Verdi and Bellini.
Master Class was written by Emmy Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, and the show has been named Best Play by the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Set during a series of masterclasses that Maria Callas held at Julliard near the end of her career, Master Class allows audiences to witness firsthand as the world’s most famous soprano strives to pass on her legacy to a new generation of singers.
“Master Class is a compelling portrait of an iconic artist,” says stage director Adam Da Ros, “as well as a vivid – and sometimes hilariously accurate – behind-the-scenes look at the operatic life. It’s funny, haunting and incredibly powerful by turns, and I think it’s also a piece that resonates strongly for many performers, so I feel lucky to be involved in bringing it to the stage.”
Mariposa managing director Robin Eder-Warren says that Master Class is the perfect play to launch the Mariposa Theatre Wing. “Master Class is the ideal blend of opera and theatre,” she says. “It’s a play woven through with opera music, and it demands a cast that’s incredibly gifted both musically and dramatically. The fact that the plot involves young singers about to embark on their careers fits perfectly with Mariposa’s focus on creating opportunities for emerging artists.”
The production stars Di Cicco as Callas, in a role that has been interpreted in the past by such luminaries as Faye Dunaway, Tyne Daly, Zoe Caldwell and Patti LuPone. Callas’ students will be played by award-winning sopranos Christina Dennehy and Jacqueline Ko and up-and-coming tenor Jeff Fang. Actor-pianist Chris Feige joins the cast as the Accompanist, and Gavi Beigel performs as the Stagehand. Tickets start at $15 and are available at operamariposa.com or from Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.