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The story of Maria Callas

Australian actor Amanda Muggleton transforms into legendary Greek American soprano Maria Callas in Terrence McNally's Masterclass

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Amanda Muggleton as La Divina in Masterclass. Photo: Kate Ferguson

14 December 2017

Maria Callas had a sensational career, and her story is being retold on the stage in Terrence McNally's play Masterclass at Melbourne's Southbank Theatre in 2018.

Callas (1923-1977)is considered to be the greatest dramatic soprano of her generation, and subsequently one of the influential opera singers of the 20th century, who went on to become the star of the world's greatest opera houses such as Milan's La Scala and The Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

McNally's play sees the passionate, wise Greek American diva (played by beloved actor Amanda Muggleton) hit the stage once more. She accepts an invitation from the prestigious Julliard School in New York to conduct a series of masterclasses to a select group of young vocal students, and through this platform ends up imparting her valuable life experiences and lessons to her students, and the audience.
Muggleton slots perfectly into the role, with a career that spans over four decades she embodies the role of the lead character.

She has over 50 theatre, film, and television credits to her name, including her roles as Chrissie Latham in Prisoner and on the stage in Shirley Valentine, Hello Dolly!, Entertaining Mr Sloane, HMS Pinafore, Calendar Girls, Blood Brothers, Steaming and The Seagull.

Starring alongside Muggleton is actor Dobbs Franks as Emmanuel 'Manny' Weinstock.

The production is being directed by London's Kings Head Theatre artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher who says he is overjoyed to be returning home to Australia to work with such a wonderful cast on a "fiercely brilliant" play.

"Maria Callas was that rare thing; a real-life phenomenon, whose life off-stage was as rich and joyous and full-blooded as her onstage performances and, like so many others, I've devoured stories about her life," he said.

"The more you learn about her, the more you want to learn, and with this brand new, intimate, production, we're going to show you the woman behind the legend like never before!"

'Masterclass' will be staged at Southbank Theatre (The Lawler) from 5-27 January 2018 Mon-Tue 6.30 pm, Wed-Sat 7.30 pm and Sat 3.00 pm.
To make a booking, visit
mtc.com.au or call (03) 8688 0800. For full tour details, visit akaaustralia.com.au

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