Maria Callas is teaching a master class in front of an audience: us. She’s glamorous, commanding, larger than life—and drop-dead funny. Callas’ first “victim” is Sophie, a ridiculous, overly perky soprano. Sophie chooses to sing one of the most difficult arias, the sleepwalking scene from La sonnambula—an aria that Callas made famous. Before the girl sings a note, Callas stops her—and now what has started out as a class becomes a platform for Callas. She glories in her own career, dabbles in opera dish, and flat-out seduces the audience. But with that, there are plenty of laughs going on, especially between Callas and the audience. The next two sessions repeat the same dynamic: The middle session is with a tenor, who moves Callas to tears. She again enters her memories, and we learn about Callas’ affair with Aristotle Onassis; an abortion she was forced to have; her first elderly husband whom she left; her early days as an ugly duckling; the fierce hatred of her rivals; and the unforgiving press that savaged her at first. Finally, we meet Sharon, another soprano— the young singer has talent, but Callas tells her to stick to flimsy roles. Sharon is devastated and rushes out of the hall, and Callas brings the class to a close by acknowledging the sacrifices we must make in the name of art.
*Show synopsis provided by Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
TAMIR provides forceful, virtuoso portrayal of opera diva Callas
By Barbara Rose Shuler | Special to the Herald
New York-based actress TAMIR in a virtuoso performance of the fiery Greek diva that promises to be a singular triumph of PRT’s season…
TAMIR’s portrayal of Callas never falters in its uncanny likeness to the soprano… TAMIR incarnates the soprano’s complex personality, her passion and her imposing presence, commanding us to feel Callas’ uncompromising dedication to art, the myriad heart breaks of her life, her blazing successes and crashing failures. She’s a force playing a force….
The show belongs completely to TAMIR. Her bravura performance, in the end, sweeps away much of the ineffectiveness of the lesser characters, leaving us with a fully realized Maria Callas that at time transcends even the script.
TAMIR Electrifies as ‘La Divina’ at Pacific Repertory
By Tom Birmingham and Erin Gafill
TAMIR’s electrifying performance reflects the terror, hunger, pain and loss that dart like silver fish beneath the surface of Callas’ glamour – engaging us with her all-seeing eyes, unsparing tongue….
…this is TAMIR’s show, and she is more than up to the task. The effortlessness with which this actor performs bespeaks years of training and discipline.