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Night with a Diva: Master Class Review



I seldom enjoy watching Opera. If I would enumerate Opera performances that I like I would hardly count all my fingers in one hand. The last time I watched Opera is with La Boheme and Magic Flute. If I don't know La Boheme is the original version of the RENT musical, I would not know what the Opera is all about because it is in Itallian libretto while Magic Flute is clearly just for the kids. But here comes the day when Master Class came to the scene and my perception towards Opera changed.


Master Class is a Terrence McNally Opera creation with music by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, and Vincenzo Bellini that tells the story of La Divina Mari Callas. While the show retells her exploits as a Juliard harsh but glamorous mentor of Opera, Callas (played by Cherie Gil) is also tormented by the ghost of the past and proceeds contemplating them over and over again.


I never imagined that the day would come that I will enjoy another Opera other than Webber's Phantom. Though I will admit the music of Opera is still not for me, Master Class has something worth enjoying: an inspiring memoir and a magnificent feat in the Persona of the great Ms. Cherie Gil. There is no words worthy to be given to Cherie Gil's performance as Maria Callas because it is just plainly magnificent. Like what people say, Gil is Callas and Callas is Gil.

L-R: Juan Carlos Veguillas (Stage Manager), Ana feleo (Sharon Graham)
and Juan Gaerlan (Anthony Candolino)
L-R: Cherie Gil (Maria Callas), Mike Williams (Director),
Florence Aguilar (Sofie de Palma) and Francis Amora (Manny)

Of course the other cast also did a very good job. All of them are good singers obviously and I commend POC for being one of the most disciplined musical theater in the country. Florence Aguilar who played Sophie de Palma is quite a stunner on stage. I don't get it when Callas says she don't have a look when in fact she really looks gorgeous (I know the boys will agree with me). Juan Alberto Gaerlan also succeeded in showing the swagger and confidence on his portrayal as Mr. Tight Pants Anthony Candolino while Francis Amora who played Callas' pianist Manny delivers some funny moments even though his role is limited to just playing the piano.


And lastly my favorite among the supporting cast is none other than Ana Feleo who plays the character of Sharon Graham. Ana has the makings of a good actress and I already saw that when I saw La Boheme where she played Musetta. And now she spices up a little bit by donning up a character with a good mix of comedy and drama. This clearly shows her two sides making her an actress and a performer to watch out for.

Cherie Gil during the rehearsals
Master Class is definitely a must watch for everyone especially to those who belongs to the new generation who just happened doesn't know a single thing about Opera and Callas herself. Though the play talks about Callas' exploits and memoirs, it also focuses on the dramatic aspect of opera singing that would be useful for both Professional and aspiring theater actors. I salute POC for bringing such Masterpiece on stage and Michael Williams' for his artistic craftsmanship.


Master Class will be having their last shows tonight (August 14) and tomorrow (August 15) in Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium. It is your last chance to witness this one of a kind show so better grab it. Visit www.ticketworld.com.ph for lists of ticket prices and schedules.



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About the Author

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A blogger, artist, performer and musical lover. Loves discovering new things and making friends.

A web designer by profession. Working on a publishing company and part time Entertainment Blogger. Also once upon a time an actor, singer and creative writer.

Loves reading comicbooks and graphic novels. Enjoys watching movies and stage plays and musicals. Internet "lakwatsero", enjoys discovering new and cool sites to discover new things and most specially meeting new interesting people whom I can share my hobbies and interests.

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