Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cherie Gil portrays Maria Callas perfectly in Master Class

July 28- Makati - I never enjoyed the opera aside from Phantom of the Opera until I saw Master Class where the diva of the Philippine Cinema Cherie Gil takes the role of Maria Callas. I am one of the privilege few to a Terrence McNally's masterpiece presented by the Philippine Opera Company at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the RCBC Plaza in Makati Cily last July 28. This is the second time for Gil to do the role of Maria Callas.

Master Class tells the story of the triumph, downfall and the struggle of Maria Callas from the time she owns the stage and tagged as the La Divina of the Opera and after 10 years she lost her voice and became a professor in an opera school and recurring struggles for her love for Ari (Aristotle). With the slice of music, drama, sarcasm and humor Master Class teaches its viewers the essence of passion to one's profession or talent like the La Divina herself from the stage where she performs to the small classroom where she passes her legacy to those who shows interest in music, from there the usual class she handles became a Master Class, a classroom filled with passion and love for music.

(Cherie Gil and Michael Williams)
(Florence Aguilar and Francis Amora)
(Chino Viguillas, Ana Feleo and Juan Alberto Gaerlan)

One of the so many things I love in the performance is engaging the audience to be part of the "class" of Maria Callas, unlike other performances audience remains as audience and not the participants of the story, it adds beauty in it. The set is minimal and the performers are few, from there it gives the audience to focus more in front, to the one who is talking rather than being amused with the set and numerous movements of the performers in all sides of the stage.

(Cherie Gil during a short rehearsal before the preview night of Master Class)

I wanted to congratulate Michael Williams the director of Master Class and the Philippine Opera who brings it here again in the country for the younger audience to appreciate and love Terrence McNally's work, Maria Callas' legacy and the wonder of the opera music. All the performers did a wonderful presentation Juan Alberto Gaerlan as Anthony Candolino, Florence Aguilar as Sophie de Palma, Ana Feleo as Sharon Graham, Francis Amora as the pianist Manny, Chino Viguillas as the stage manager and most especially Cherie Gil who gives her heart and soul for the character of Maria Callas.

(28 seconds clip of Cherie Gil during the rehearsal of Master Class)

The Master Class will be run at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati 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.). For tickets and reservations please call Philippine Opera Company at 892-8786 or 881-7168 or TicketWorld at 891-9999. For more information visit

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Anonymous said...

Just to let you know NEITHER Phantom of the Opera or Master Class IS AN OPERA. These two pieces are considered Musical Theater even though it either says Opera in the title OR tells a story of an Opera singer. It doesn't make it an OPERA. Please learn your facts well. Thank you and take care....

Anonymous said...

But I must admit Ms. Cherie Gil's performance was brilliant!! :-)

Flow Galindez said...

Thanks for the clarification

Anonymous said...

Actually, Master Class is not considered Musical Theater. It is a straight play that just happens to have music in it. But yes, Cherie Gil was brilliant. :) Thank you and let's keep supporting live theater in the Philippines! :)

Anonymous said...

Let me set everybody straight; Masterclass is A PLAY WITH MUSIC, all the music used in the play are not incidental music. Isa po itong DULANG MAY MUSIKA at hindi dulang nagkataon lamang na may musika.
Bravo Cherie Gil!

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