Mug­gle­ton back for a Master­class

Guardian Express - - WHAT’S ON -

AMANDA Mug­gle­ton has a ca­reer span­ning roles from

Pris­oner to Shirley Valen­tine but her favourite is play­ing the orig­i­nal diva – opera singer Maria Cal­las in Master­class.

She has re­turned to the part that won her Help­mann and Green Room awards in 2002 and could not be hap­pier.

“The best role I’ve ever played is Maria Cal­las,” Mug­gle­ton said.

“I’m so thrilled I’ve got an­other chance to do it be­cause I’m that much older and wiser and world-weary, which she was at the time when she did the master­class.”

The pro­duc­tion is a the­atri­cal trib­ute writ­ten by Ter­rence McNally about when Cal­las was in­vited to New York’s Juil­liard School to present a se­ries of master classes to young vo­cal stu­dents.

“It’s all true and al­most ver­ba­tim the­atre, so the words you will hear me say are prac­ti­cally what she said to the stu­dents,” Mug­gle­ton said.

“Ter­rence McNally at­tended ei­ther 16 or 18 of her master classes as a young boy. He was fas­ci­nated by her, thank God, and then wrote this bril­liant piece of the­atre.

“She pulls no punches and doesn’t think be­fore she speaks and hu­mil­i­ates these stu­dents; she picks on the au­di­ence some­times.”

Mug­gle­ton will be joined on stage by three opera singers in a new im­mer­sive ver­sion of the pro­duc­tion di­rected by Aus­tralian Adam Spreadbury-Ma­her, who has re­turned home from work­ing as artis­tic di­rec­tor of Lon­don’s Kings Head The­atre.

Mug­gle­ton said the Greek-Amer­i­can so­prano’s life was a roller­coaster of emo­tion through her love af­fair with Aris­to­tle Onas­sis and first hus­band Gio­vanni Battista Menegh­ini.

“Some­thing hap­pens when I play Cal­las in that I be­come her,” she said.

“It’s very scary be­cause you never know what’s go­ing to hap­pen but who wouldn’t want to play the most fa­mous opera singer in the world? They talk about BC and AC – Be­fore Cal­las and Af­ter Cal­las – be­cause she turned the opera world up­side down.

“Her life was so dra­matic and tragic. She and Onas­sis lost a baby and of course he broke her heart when he mar­ried Jacqueline Kennedy.”

Amanda Mug­gle­ton

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