maria naucza

ok, this is major. i'm like tottaly awe-struck.

since i'm in warsaw, i might as well treat myself to a ticket for a play with a famous brilliant actress, right? good choice, good choice.


''maria callas. master class'' in och-teatr.

as the title would suggest, this play is about maria callas, a very famous opera singer in her times and until today. she is one of the most important artists, her voice was unique and she was truly an actress on stage.

she was born in america but moved to athens quite early in her life, greek decent. maria started off as a ''hippopotamus'' on stage, with pimples too. fortunately, her artistry was more important than looks, which greatly improved once she lost weight, btw.

la traviata, as violetta

the really sad thing is that her hard and heavy temper affected a lot of her life, thus her talent. even though she was an international star, in 1965, she got kicked out of her opera environment, after years and years of quarrels with her millionaire husband (he didn't want her to sing, she got in trouble with basically everybody because of that).

but... what about the play!

we meet her in 1971, at julliard school of music in new york. callas tried teaching a master class there. the whole performance is centered and played as a lecture with students presenting their works. maria listens but frequently interrupts. there are only 3 students, yet we are watching the stage, from both sides, for nearly 2 hours. it doesn't feel like it.

krystyna janda, a very famous polish film and theatre actress, plays the main role. she's in her 60s but that's not a problem, i feel like if she was younger (even though she already played callas, in a similar play, 10 years ago), you wouldn't see the truth.

i can actually believe she is callas, that's her, with jet black, pulled back hair, and short legs. the actual singer had a very difficult childhood, during war, she was very self conscious, needed love and hate. janda portraits that very well. her monologues are the most moving, her feelings towards her husband, her desperate need to act but not act. even if it is set in a class room, with students actually performing opera, her persona is so sharp that even when she leaves the stage for a break, callas is still there.

one of the most elegant posters i have ever seen


i know that you probably want to hear about costumes... but there really isn't that much to say. imagine an old diva with a very classy presence, a school accompanist, students who really don't know how to dress themselves and a grumpy janitor. that's it really. but it plays so nicely. 


i'm really sorry this is late, but the play... it was soooooo goooood. go see it if you have the chance, please. you'll thank me in unicorn tears.

this has been your monday (wednesday) dose of culture vulture.



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