Enthralling. Masterful. Amazing. Great. Must see. All words that have been used to describe the show from patrons and critics alike. The word I used in tweets and Facebook posts was brilliant. It truly was. MASTER CLASS brought out so many different emotions, and had me absolutely engrossed in the life of Maria Callas (so much so that I’ve done research on her, and listened to some of her famous pieces since – and I’m not a huge fan of Opera!).
The story is centered around Maria Callas, one of the most famous Opera singers from the 20th century. The story picks up much later in Maria’s life, teaching young, aspiring opera singers about much more than just singing. Throughout, Maria teaches the audience about her life, through long, beautiful monologues, that are broken up as she meets three different aspiring singers all with very different styles. Each of the three actors offered beautiful voices, and fun back and forth banter with Maria. Manny, the accompanist on the piano & the Stagehand both provided some comic relief to the show.
The stage set is a simple, but beautiful inside of a studio, with a piano, music stand, chair and small table. Adding to the stage set was background music of Maria Callas’ performances that played during some of the monologues.
The true brilliance of this show was Christina Rausa’s performance. Maria Callas, known for never lacking words, is taken back to her rise/fall to fame as she meets each of the three singers. The powerful monologues are filled with hope, sorrow, laughter and heartbreak, and had the entire audience engrossed.
I had no clue what to expect when I walked into MusicalFare on Friday night. I had never heard of Maria Callas, and didn’t know too much about MASTER CLASS. I walked out with a new appreciation for Opera music, and wanting to learn more about this vibrant personality. I haven’t seen all the shows out there in Buffalo right now, but in my opinion, it’s probably among the best ways to spend $42, if not the best.
One thing that I do want to point out from my night at MusicalFare last week, was the very small number of “younger” patrons. My friend Amanda and I, both 30, were the youngest in attendance by at least 10-20 years. I never really paid attention to the crowd around me much, but it was absolutely shocking to see! As someone who grew up as a dancer, and a participant in many musicals/plays during my time in high school, I have always had a love for the theatre. I truly encourage more “youngsters” in Western New York to get out and see theatrical performances in Buffalo. We have over 20 local theatres that are putting out some great productions. Many offer student nights, or discounted rates for students, so look into it. It’s so important that we continue to engage our youngsters in the theatre!
MASTER CLASS is running at MusicalFare until December 1st, so you have a couple more weeks to buy tickets. Not surprisingly, tickets have been selling extremely well, so call the box office (716-839-8540) NOW to secure your seats. Tickets run $42 per performance and the show plays Wednesdays – Sundays (with performance times ranging from 2pm – 8pm, depending on the day).
Don’t miss out on this absolutely beautiful production. Find the $42 and go. Seriously. Those two hours are going to stay with me for a long time. It is a must, must, must see!