MASTER CLASS Opens at CU-Boulder Tomorrow

Maria Callas, the great American-Greek opera soprano, will come to life on stage Sept. 26-29 when the CU-Boulder Department of Theatre & Dance and College of Music present Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning 1995 play, "Master Class."

Called "mesmerizing theater" by the New York Post, McNally's play focuses on the great diva's time teaching master classes at New York's Juilliard School in 1971. Caustic, competitive, charismatic - not to mention bitingly funny - she ponders everything from her triumphs at La Scala to her bitter rivalries, ending with a heart-felt soliloquy about the price of being an artist.

"Everything Callas professed was geared toward the cultivation of the artist, whether it be the opera singer, the actor, the musician, or even the way in which a prop is placed on stage," says Assistant Professor of Theater Tamara Meneghini, who will play the lead role.

"Master Class" will showcase collaboration on many levels: between the college and department - the first such co-production in 30 years - students and faculty, and CU and the Boulder community.

Israeli artist Ami Dayan is serving as guest director, courtesy of a grant from the Roser Visiting Artist Fund. "Master Class" features roles for student actors and singers.

"Our opera singers are so very happy to be a part of this dramatic work and work with such amazing professionals," says Leigh Holman, director of CU Opera.

The production also will be the kickoff for a new, integrated box office for all CU-Boulder performing-arts programs under CU Presents. Patrons can now buy tickets for the Artist Series, Takàcs Quartet, Holiday Festival and Colorado Shakespeare Festival, as well as Theatre & Dance, College of Music and CU Opera productions.

"We are expanding our successful tradition of presenting the finest artists from a wide range of genres that appeal to our community of 'cultural omnivores,'" says Joan McLean Braun, executive director of CU Presents.

"Master Class" also is the producing debut for Boulder native and long-time arts supporter Kathryn Keller.

"She is a huge opera fan, and a fervent Callas aficionado," Meneghini says. "We are really excited to be working with Kathryn."

Tickets: $17 general admission; $15 CU students; $5 high-school students

Box Office: 303-492-8181; or go to

Photo by Daniel C. Leonard/University of Colorado

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