September 27 - October 27, 2012
Granville Island Stage
By Terrence McNally
A Diva Holds Court
Inspired by the legendary Maria Callas, this Tony Award–winning play opens in a master class at Juilliard, where the world’s greatest soprano is more interested in teaching life lessons than opera. The tempestuous yet vulnerable diva muses on her past—her transformation from stocky to sleek, triumphs at La Scala, feuds with rival singers, and a doomed affair with billionaire Aristotle Onassis. Not only a tribute to the star, Master Class is also a statement on the nature of art and the sacrifices we make for it.
Running time: approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes (including one intermission)
"Masterful production brings diva Maria Callas to life… Gina Chiarelli is compulsively watchable…as grand as opera itself" – Erika Thorkelson, The Vancouver Sun [Read More]
"Gina Chiarelli delivers divine performance… the music and acting are thrilling" —Jerry Wasserman, The Province [Read More]
"Rich, vivid, satisfying theater" —The New York Times
"Dazzling" —Chicago Tribune
"A fascinating character study" —The Hollywood Reporter
"McNally’s insightful script…is full of feeling for all the characters" —The New Yorker
"Gina, you brought tears to my eyes. A sad ending of my Diva's life. You were truly brilliant. Kindest regards"
"I was sorry to see such a small audience as I found the play very well done and informative. I virtually knew nothing about Maria Callas, or about Opera, but thought the play taught me a lot about both!"
"Riveting performance by Gina Chiarelli! It's shows like this that keep us coming back year after year to be entertained, informed, and stimulated. Thanks ArtsClub"
—Chris, North Vancouver
"A Masterful performance. Enjoyable evening. Clever way of portraying Maria Callas"
—Desmond, West Vancouver
"This was a virtuosic performance by Gina Chiarelli without singing a note. The young singers in the master class were excellent and inspiring in their singing and acting. This is a play that engages the audience from the moment they walk in the theatre to find their seats. We are enveloped in the action and really feel part of the proceedings! Can't say enough about Gina as Maria Callas—she was breathtaking"
"It was wonderful. Left with such admiration for all the actors"
"Terrific script. Amazing acting by Gina. Loved it. Could see it again"
"What a fantastic show!! I was riveted the entire time"
"Although maybe not one of Terence McNally's best plays, this production is well-worth seeing for the performance of Gina Chiarelli. She's brilliant! Thanks for continuing to produce plays that aren’t necessarily big box-office draws. Vancouver needs access to these kinds of plays!"
"Gina Chiarelli gave one of the most striking performances I have ever seen. This play does not let you sit passively in the audience, we became part of the play. Gina and the entire cast define why we attend live performances"
"From the moment Gina Chiarelli makes her entrance, as Maria Callas- I do not recall breathing or thinking about anything else in my life. Such a commanding and powerful performance to have had the pleasure and privilege to enjoy. Thank you Artsclub, the cast and most especially Gina Chiarelli- most sincerely"
"Thank you, Monsieur et Madame Arts Club for staging such an engrossingly powerful play. Gina was superb and the young actors equally so—what incredible voices they had. And yes, I have passed on a good word about this excellent production to a number of friends"
"We loved Master Class and feel it is the very best play we have seen at either the Arts Club or the Stanley for a long time. Congratulations! Gina Chiarelli was compelling, and the rest of the cast was excellent"
"The production was well written, very well staged, and well acted by all. The lead part was inspirationally delivered by someone who obviously lives & breathes acting, just like the character she plays! I am still thinking about the play today. It was that well presented!"
"A very intense drama that informed me of Maria Callas' life and also was entertaining with the opera singers. I used to sing opera and it was reminiscent of master classes I had attended, although not as difficult! A beautiful performance by the lead actor. I also loved the tenor's voice and presentation"
"We really enjoyed the play. The singers were incredibly good in their craft. The piano player not only played beautifully but also acted his part so well. However the lead Gina Chiarelli was exceptional in her performance. Her clarity of voice and her exhibit of passion took our breath away at times"
—Shirley and Jerry, Vancouver
"Wonderful show. Amazing actress! And...wonderful new seats!!!"
—Cathy, White Rock
"Wonderful, wonderful what a precious gift this actress is! She took our breath away. The three singers were all so talented but the young man gave me shivers when he sang, his voice was beautiful"
—Marie and Robin, Delta
"We thoroughly enjoyed the Master Class, the behind the scenes story of Maria Callas. The production was sophisticated and classy. We only wished that we could have heard more singing from the enchanting Shannon Chan-Kent, playing the role of Sophie de Palma. She was wonderful, as were the other characters. Maria Callas was a "tour de force," whose intensity seemed to match that of the real figure in history. Bravo to the entire troupe and Meg Roe especially"
"Gina Chiarelli-an ARTIST extraordinaire, her performance is unforgettable. We enjoyed the play very much. To my younger friend last night was also a history lesson as for those of us born "earlier," Maria Callas, her private and professional life was many times an awesome topic of conversation. Bravo to everyone on and behind the stage. Thank you!"
"A "master"piece! Gina IS Maria! Riveting (don't dare say anything nasty or take your eyes off her!) Yet she is a true icon of the opera! And the singing by Sophie, Sharon, and Tony— magnificent! Although my ears are still ringing (saw the show last night, Oct 2) from the sheer volume, the vocal quality is first class! To anyone interested in a first class production, this is it!"
— Fred, Surrey
"Gina Chiarelli is outstanding as the leading lady, Maria Callas. Her performance layered with the wonderful live vocals of Melanie Krueger and Frédérik Robert delivers a compelling story. I was completely engaged throughout"
"Dear Mr. Millerd, Ms. Roe, cast and crew of MASTER CLASS,
I have to write.
I had the privilege of seeing your matinee production of MASTER CLASS yesterday. What a treasure! The disappointment was that the audience was small. There should have been standing room only for what I thought was a brilliant performance. Simple set, subtle lighting, perfect sound. "Sophie, Sharon, Tony"- to say your voices are superb is an understatement. "Manny, Stagehand"-beautifully, "I've seen it all before", played. And "Maria"-you gave us a journey into a broken woman's life (soul) that was so personal I feel I know her. 24 hours later, "Maria" is still with me. Ms. Chiarelli, you deserve standing ovations, awards, and your own touring show. Thank you all so much for a deeply moving afternoon at the theatre"
— Janet Delta
"Wonderful performance. Gina was Callas. Loved the rest of the cast, altogether Superb"
— Philip, North Vancouver
"I thoroughly enjoyed Master Class. I found the life story of this opera diva very interesting. By the end of the performance I was in awe of what this woman had accomplished, and sympathized with the many hardships she had endured in her short life. I've never thought of myself as someone who enjoys opera, but after listening to the stunningly talented voices last night I feel inspired to go and see one. I highly recommend seeing Master Class in this lovely, intimate setting"
"Excellent performance by the leading lady, Gina Chiarelli and marvelous vocals from Melanie Krueger and Frédérik Robert. Highly recommended to all theatre fans"
"Wow! Maria Callas was Superb! The acting and singing were Wonderful! I wish I had heard her in person. Bravo!!!"
"Thank you for such an exciting evening. This production was superb—we are still reliving the experience. We have recommended this production to a number of friends and family"
"Terence McNally's script was amusing but captured the essence of Maria Callas as we believe we knew her. The performers were strong and Angus Kellett great as the consummate répétiteur. Melanie Krueger, Frédérik Robert and Shannon Chan-Kent's voices were superb! Gina Chiarelli as Maria was totally convincing and I loved the concept of being in a Master Class with Maria Callas. If you are an opera lover this is a 'must see' but highly entertaining even if you are not"
"Another stunning evening of acting excellence in a newly refurbished setting. A must see for all who are interested in the lives behind the voices of the great songstresses of our day"
Behind the Scenes
By Terrence McNally
Starring Gina Chiarelli with Shannon Chan-Kent, Angus Kellett, Melanie Krueger, Felix LeBlanc, Frédérik Robert
Director Meg Roe
Set and Lighting Designer John Webber
Costume Designer Pam Johnson
Sound Designer Alessandro Juliani
Projection Designer Corwin Ferguson
Stage Manager Louis-Marie Bournival
Assistant Stage Manager April Starr Land