Master Class Review - Masterfully Done

Master Class by Terrence McNally is masterfully written and superbly performed.  Presented at the Will Greer Theatricum Botanicum outdoor theatre, Master Class tells the story of opera’s soprano singer Maria Callas’s last years as a teacher of new sopranos and tenors.  A mixture of operatic and dramatic exposition, the play is an education as well as entertainment with wonderful performances of the operatic pieces, as well. 

Master Class - Ellen Geer

One of the most celebrated soprano’s Maria Callas not only had a legendary voice but a legendary life, too, as lover of Ari Onasis.  In Master Class, we see Maria’s insistence upon specific detailed work and her demand for passion.  She taught the students, and the audience, the importance of the character’s entrance and exit and how the opera students had to be not only singers but performers, living the life of the character they were singing. 

Master Class Review: Ellen Geer as Maria Callas

Not only are there moments of humor, but it demonstrates the sacrifices one needs to make in order to create real art.  Maria’s only way out of her pain and difficult circumstances was the extreme dedication to her work.  

Dying of a heart attack at the age of 53, she had told her friends “Wherever I am, it is hectic.”  She was considered by some to be the “Bible of the opera.”  

Master Class: Ellen Geer and Elizabeth Tobias

Directed by Heidi Helen Davis, the Master Class also features Ellen Geer as the accomplished singer and Andreas Beckett, Meaghan Boeing, Bill Durham, Cody T Gillette, Alice Sherman, Rachael Amber Thomas, Victoria Hilyard,and Elizabeth Tobias.  

Others involved in the production are Kim Cameron, Casey S. McGann, Val Miller, Pavlina Nicholf, Britton Mauk, Ian Flanders and Michael Mahlum.  

Master Class - Ellen Geer and Andreas Beckett

Alternating with Master Class, the theatre is also playing Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Musketeers and Carry It On.  Special musical performances – No More Kings, The Woody Guthrie Show, The Bangles, Carry It On with celebrity guests and a Dolly Parton Tribute are scattered through the summer.  An interactive theatre for youth is held on Sunday mornings.

The program runs through October 3rd with the last performance of Master Class on September 25th.  Ticket costs range between $10-32 depending on where you are sitting and your age. A flex pass gives you four performances ranging from $80-120 Discounts for seniors, students and war veterans.

Master Class - Ellen Geer and Meaghan Boeing

 There is ample parking on Topanga Cyn leading into the theatre and a small parking lot attached.  For more information call 310 455 3723. The theatre park is 1419 N. Topanga Cyn Blvd, Topanga 90290

One caveat, take bug spray to protect you in this beautiful outdoor stadium.  

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