Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Master Class Synopsis & Cast Details

The play takes the form of one of opera diva Maria Callas's famous master classes in voice in 1971.

Maria Callas is a glamorous, commanding, larger-than-life, caustic, and surprisingly drop-dead funny pedagogue of a voice master class.

Callas makes snide comments about other opera singers …. and alternately dismayed and impressed or even demands passion and fervor from three student vocalists who parade before her.

The action sometimes shifts when, she retreats into recollections about the glories of her own life and career.

Included in her musings are her younger years as an ugly duckling, her fierce hatred of her rivals, the unforgiving press that savaged her early performances, her triumphs at La Scala, and her affair with Aristotle Onassis.  It all culminates into a monologue about sacrifice taken in the name of art.

This show has an amazing cast which features the following:

 Juan Alberto Gaerlan completed his Professional Diploma Studies in Western Opera at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts where he graduated with distinction.  He has made numerous performances here and abroad and was last seen as Rodolfo in POC’s and CCP’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme”.

Al Gatmaitan is under the tutelage of Ronan Ferrer at the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. He has appeared in various theater groups such as Dulaang UP, PETA, Spazio Teatro and Teatro Calabria in Italy. He has been part of several telenovelas in ABS-CBN and recently appeared in the highly-acclaimed movie musicale, Emir.

Ana Feleo is an Aliw Awardee for Best Actress in a Musical for 2007. She received her music education at the College of Music, University of the Philippines under the tutelage of Professor Emeritus Fides Cuyugan- Asensio. She pursued further coaching with W. Stephen Smith at Juilliard School of Music in New York last 2008 when she prepared for her biggest break in her operatic career when she played the role of Musetta in “La Boheme”.

Florence Aguilar graduated magna cum laude in voice from the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. She was part of the Singapore Lyric Opera’s twin bill production of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci and of the Philharmonic Chamber of Choir of Singapore’s Bach’s Mass in B minor and I Love My Love concerts conducted by Maestro Lim Lau and Johannes Prinz respectively.

Kay Balajadia-Liggayu graduated from the UP College of Music with a degree in Bachelor of Music, major in Voice. She was a national champion of the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in 1996. She has performed in various opera, musical and zarzuela productions. Recently she was featured as soloist in the Las Pinas International Bamboo Organ Festival 2010.

Francis Amora is a Bachelor in Music graduate in Piano Performance from Philippine Women’s University Conservatory of Music and is currently taking up his Masters in Piano Performance in UST Conservatory of Music under Prof. Raul  Sunico.

            MASTER CLASS will run at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza with 10 performances on July 29, 30, 31, August 6, 7, 8, 12,13, 14 and 15, 2010. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

MASTER CLASS is supported in part by the Yuchengco Group of Companies, Robinsons Luxuria of Robinsons Land Corporation, Lyric, Lifestyle Network, Make Up For Ever, Odyssey Music and Video and 105.1 Crossover.

For tickets, call Philippine Opera Company at 892-8786 or 881-7168 or TicketWorld at 891-9999. For more information visit

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