Behind the Curtain

Official Blog of International City Theatre

Maria Callas – the Original Diva!

April 10th, 2013

Maria Callas

We have been presenting one of the most acclaimed plays of the last 20 years, the Tony winner for Best Play Master Class. This breathtaking production focuses around opera superstar Maria Callas. Some are familiar with this prodigious talent and for those that aren’t, well you’re about to be introduced.

Born in New York in 1923 to Greek immigrants, Callas was raised in Greece, receiving her vocal training there. Then she began a whirlwind career that included performances at every major opera house in Italy, including the famous Teattro alla Scala. Referred by Leonard Bernstein as “The Bible of Opera,” her acclaimed career was marred by gossip, rumors and scandal.

Her strenuous relationship with her mother was exposed in a story in Time magazine. Media outlets exaggerated a supposed rivalry with fellow opera singer Renata Tebaldi. Her life and name are sadly connected to her affair with Greek billionaire Aristotle Onassis, who then left her to marry Jacqueline Kennedy. Are you beginning to see why award-winning playwright Terrence McNally decided she would be a thrilling topic for the stage?

Master Class follows Maria Callas in a series of master classes she taught at Juilliard in 1971. The play finds Callas near her career’s end, instructing a group of singers aspiring to the heights of fame with wicked humor, unrelenting criticism and deeply personal stories – stories that include her life with Aristotle Onassis.

This contemporary masterpiece closes this Sunday and you don’t want to miss this fascinating story about this extraordinary talent.  Being named the Best Play by the Tony and Drama Desk Awards  Committees are just icing on the cake.

Master Class runs through April 14. To purchase tickets, call 562-436-4610 or visit

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