Culture Magazine

Review: Master Class

By Antipodeanblog @antipodeanblog

Review: Master Class
Famed opera diva Maria Callas was a troubled soul, known earlier in her career for a large range and perfect pitch, and later on for a deteriorating voice and narcissistic ramblings.
Between 1971 and 1972, Callas gave a series of master classes at the Juilliard School in New York. These form the basis of Terrence McNally’s Tony award winning play.
We are the audience at Juilliard, watching this once great diva rip students to shreds and harp on about how her talent is unparalleled. The thing with this particular egomaniac is that she has the talent to back it up. Tyne Daly brings her to life beautifully, demonstrating an acting range as wide as Callas' voice; from Opera diva to passionate Greek to miserable, childless wife.
 We see her perfectionism come through in the way she lectures the students, as though none of them could possibly have worked so hard or sacrificed as much as she did. Although the script is occasionally overwritten, it does paint its picture beautifully, and the several scenes where Callas' slips back into her memory are delicious to watch if you're prepared to overlook the cheese factor.
Overall, it's a solid performance that provides a worthwhile behind the scenes look into the life of the greatest Diva in modern history. Highly recommended.

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