Celebrated Greek-Australian performer Maria Mercedes takes on the role of a lifetime as legendary Greek-American opera singer Maria Callas.
Having appeared in the Australian premieres of Nine, Sunset Boulevard and Love Never Dies, as well as films such as Head on and Dreams for Life, Maria Mercedes returns to what she describes as “the greatest challenge of my career” for a Sydney season of Terrence McNally’s Master Class.
“Maria Callas is my dream role”, says Mercedes, “and I couldn’t be more thrilled to honour the life of a woman I admire not only for her incredible artistry and passion, but for the daring, honest way she lived her life.”
Acting as the launching production of new theatre company Left Bauer, Master Class was presented at Melbourne’s “fortyfivedownstairs” in 2014 to critical acclaim and a sell-out season. Mercedes received the Green Room Award for Best Actress and Daniel Lammin a nomination for Best Director.
Set in 1971, the play depicts Callas’ famed visit to New York’s Juilliard School of Music to conduct a series of master classes. “At the time, Callas’ career had drawn to a close, her voice a shadow of its former glory,” says Cameron Lukey, Artistic Director of Left Bauer.
“Six years later, her death at the age of fifty three sealed her legend as a real life tragic heroine.”
Featuring three of Australia’s most exciting young operatic talents, Master Class fuses opera and theatre like never before, touching opera aficionados and novices alike with the power of Bellini, Puccini and Verdi’s music. “The music drives the play, each aria reflecting an aspect of Callas’ life and drawing us deeper into her psyche,” says Lammin.
"During rehearsals, it was extraordinary to discover the parallels between Callas' life and the characters she played.”
fortyfivedownstairs (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne)
Tickets: $35-40 plus booking fee / Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com
When: 1 – 13 September, 2015 (Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm)