Stephen Wadsworth’s new production of Terrence McNally’s Master Class starring Tyne Daly as the legendary opera soprano Maria Callas is to transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre following its critically acclaimed, sell-out run on Broadway. Joining Daly are Gerard Carey (Stagehand), Jeremy Cohen (Emmanuel Weinstock), Naomi O’Connell (Sharon Graham), Dianne Pilkington (Sophie De Palma) and Garrett Sorenson (Anthony Candolino).
Master Class, produced in the West End by Max Cooper, Maberry Theatricals, the Marks-Moore-Turnbull Group, Ted Snowdon and Sonia Friedman Productions in association with Morris Berchard, Scott M. Delman, Susan Dietz, Scott & Brian Zeilinger/The Broadway Consortium and the Manhattan Theatre Club, will run at the Vaudeville Theatre for 14 weeks only from 21st January to 28th April, with press night on 7th February 2012. Set design is by Thomas Lynch, costume design by Martin Pakledinaz, lighting by David Lander, sound by Jon Gottlieb and wigs by Paul Huntley.
Terrence McNally’s play about Maria Callas takes audiences to one of her famous master classes, where, late in her own career, she dares the next generation to make the same sacrifices and rise to the same heights that made her the most celebrated, the most reviled and the most controversial singer of her time.
Multi award-winning Tyne Daly plays Maria Callas. She is best known on television for her portrayal of Detective Mary Beth Lacey in Cagney and Lacey, for which she received four Emmy Awards. For her roles as Maxine Gray in Judging Amy and Alice Henderson in Christy she received two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama. For the former she also won a Golden Globe Award. Her many Broadway credits include Rose in Gypsy for which she won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, Mme. Arkadina in The Seagull and Rabbit Hole. Daly’s film credits include The Enforcer, Dirty Harry, John and Mary and Telefon.
Dianne Pilkington will play Sophie De Palma. Her theatre credits include She Loves Me for Chichester Festival Theatre, The 39 Steps at the Criterion Theatre, Glinda in Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre and Grizabelle in Cats and Belle in Beauty and the Beast on tour nationally. Pilkington played opposite Benecio Del Toro in the film The Wolf Man.
Naomi O’Connell will play the role of Sharon Graham. Having released a solo album at the age of sixteen entitled Christmas with Naomi she went on to train at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and the Juilliard School in New York. Her operatic roles at Juilliard include Transformations, Conception and Monteverdi’s Ottavia. O’Connell was the 2011 First Prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and the Altamura/Caruso International Voice Competition. She will make her UK professional operatic debut playing the title role in La Périchole for Garsington Opera in June next year.
Garrett Sorenson will play the role of Anthony Candolino. An acclaimed opera singer who has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera, Sorenson has performed with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the New York Philharmonic. He made his Boston Symphony Orchestra debut in 2009 in a concert performance of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. His other recent opera credits include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Tanglewood Festival, Verdi’s Requiem at the Houston Symphony and Salome at the San Francisco Opera.
Gerard Carey will play the role of Stagehand. His previous theatre credits include The Invisible Man for the Menier Chocolate Factory, Spamalot at the Palace Theatre and The Taming of the Shrew and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park. His television credits include Torchwood and Love Soup.
Jeremy Cohen will make his West End debut reprising the role of Emmanuel Weinstock which he played in the Broadway production. In the US he has worked with the Roundabout Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Delaware Theatre Company and the New York Musical Theatre Festival. As a Musical Director and Arranger, he composed the music for The Bowery Boys.
Writer Terrence McNally has won four Tony Awards for his plays Love! Valour! Compassion! and Master Class and his musical books for Kiss of the Spiderwoman and Ragtime. More recent Broadway revivals of his plays include The Ritz and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. His other plays include A Perfect Ganesh, Corpus Christi, Lips Together and It’s Only a Play. His most recent play, Golden Age, was featured in the Kennedy Center celebration of his work year. For the musical theatre his other librettos include Catch Me if You Can, The Full Monty, The Rink, The Visit, A Man of No Importance and the opera Dead Man Walking. McNally has also written a number of television scripts including Andre’s Mother for which he won an Emmy Award.
Theatre and Opera director Stephen Wadsworth has worked for Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna Staatsoper, Edinburgh Festival, Nederlandse Opera, Seattle Opera and in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto and Santa Fe. Wadsworth is the Head of Dramatic Studies at the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, the James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow and Director of Opera Studies at The Juilliard School, an artist in residence at the Aspen Institute, and a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Jeremy Cohen and Garrett Sorenson are appearing with the support of UK Equity, incorporating the Variety Artistes’ Federation, pursuant to an exchange programme between American Equity and UK Equity.
Dates: 21st January to 28 April 2012
Press Night: 7th February 2012 at 7pm
404 Strand, London,
Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7.30pm, Wednesday and Saturday at 2.30pm
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes including 1 interval