Acting in opera, Callas, Maria -- 1923-1977, Musical theater, Singing
In the world of Musical Theatre and Opera, it is not acceptable to simply have a pretty voice; you must be able to portray the character you are singing and ground it in reality. Drama in music theatre was highlighted in the Early Romantic Movement by bel canto composers Rossini, Bellini and Donizetti who re-designed the opera scene format to better tell the story. Late Romantic composers, Puccini and Verdi, took it a step further by writing music to compliment the drama of the story. Twentieth- Century Opera singer Maria Callas is admired for her famous portrayals of title roles in Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini operas. Callas combined bel canto vocal technique with her dramatic, realistic acting in her opera roles and revolutionized the art form. Callas stressed the importance of understanding and interpreting text and music with precision, detail, specifics and artistry. Her techniques set the standard for future aspiring singer/actors. In the 1970’s, Callas lost her ability to sing, so she conducted Master Classes at the Julliard School of Music. Her Master Classes were the inspiration for Tony Award-Winning Playwright Terrence McNally’s biographical play, Master Class. The play, Master Class, shows Callas as an overbearing, intimidating diva instructing opera students. The play also contains several vulnerable flashback monologues that break down the layers of Callas’ harshness. McNally’s script shows Callas as a guarded, domineering, and callous woman; however, when she is singing or talking to her lover, she becomes a vulnerable, exposed, and available woman. iv With research and examination of Callas’ life, operatic career, operatic composers, bel canto technique, and music analysis, I wrote an original script to portray the multi-dimensional Callas in a one-woman show featuring famous arias Callas is known for singing
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Weaver, Earl D.
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic, Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities
Cooper, Shelley, "La Divina The Birth Of The Singer/actor" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1603.