Dunaway, Star Of ‘Master Class,’ Is In Class Of Her Own

Editor’s note: Faye Dunaway stars in Terrence McNally‘s “Master Class,” playing Jan. 5-18 on the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. Ticket prices range between $23 to $45 and so are designed for all performances through Ticketmaster, (206) 292-ARTS, plus the Paramount Box Office, 911 Pine St., Seattle. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday at 7 p.m. 2 p.m. matinees Saturday and Sunday. The actress along with the academic. The scholar plus the star. Harvard and Hollywood. An unlikely pair that’s perfectly matched. Alfred cast Dunaway because the politician’s wife in his play, and they are friends since. Now, seated in his family room, Dunaway is adjusting Alfred’s slightly wrinkled collar. Just beyond the marble mantelpiece is really a massive library with thick, leather-bound books piled one together with another. The afternoon winter light filters through leading window as Alfred, 74, fortified by way of a cup of tea, is discussing his friendship with Dunaway — a relationship that spans four decades.

Alfred casts an affectionate gaze her way.

Dunaway’s around because the star of Terrence McNally‘s “Master Class,” and they’ve had to be able to see one another frequently. Alfred, who’s been likely to the theater because the mid-’30s and writing plays because the ’60s. It’s problematic for Alfred to spell it out his love and respect for Dunaway without hyperbole. McNally’s drama about opera singer Maria Callas. Alfred smiles, his pale New England scholar’s skin set contrary to the midafternoon light. Alfred of Dunaway’s role as diva Callas teaching a master class for opera students. After four decades in teaching, does Alfred see anything of himself in “Master Class”? Is he as tough as Callas? They both laugh. “I’m referred to as ‘Fangs’ Alfred,” he says, impishly. Alfred casts an affectionate gaze her way. You can tell how proud he could be of her career — her talent and guts. Dunaway smiles. “It is a complicated business what everything results in. She’s (Callas) incredibly emotional, spiritual. She changed the complete talent and Terrence whips you in to the maelstrom of her life and that is good,” she said. Dunaway, who’ll star within the film version of “Master Class” so when Mrs. Van Hopper within the upcoming remake of Daphne du Maurier’s “Rebecca,” scheduled to air within the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre in April on PBS, sits back the chair, relaxed. But she can’t stay a lot longer. There’s an evening performance. She gives Albert a hug and leaves.

It wouldn’t be too surprising in case a dictionary somewhere didn’t bother to explain a definition for the term “diva,” and used an image of Maria Callas instead. The fantastic American-born Greek soprano was known for eccentric manners, both onstage and off. Playwright Terrence McNally tapped in to the unending Callas frenzy along with his play “Master Class,” which won multiple Tony Awards following its Broadway debut in 1995. A fresh production starring local actress Anny De Gange opens Thursday and runs through Sunday with the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. The script’s starting place is a group of public lessons, or “master classes,” that Callas conducted with young singers at Juilliard in the first ’70s. History implies that Callas was demanding but additionally fair and encouraging to people frightened souls who dared sing in her presence. But McNally’s Callas is brutal and frank. She also allows the audience to listen to her most personal thoughts as her mind drifts back again to the high and low points of her career also to a troubled romance with Aristotle Onassis.

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. If De Gange doesn’t qualify being a diva herself, she still knows plenty about maintaining high professional standards to be a performer. Early in her career, she appeared in five different Broadway productions, including being an ensemble member in the initial “Evita.” She also toured internationally with several opera companies. I believe she got a bum rap,” continues De Gange. “She was demanding on her behalf colleagues, but demanded more from herself than from anyone. There are a great number of correlations between Graham and Callas,” says De Gange. “These were both ruled by passion and believed there is only one solution to do things correctly. Martha created a dance technique, and several people didn’t like her work or think it is pretty. But she wasn’t thinking about pretty, also it was exactly the same with Callas, who received terrible reviews sometimes from critics who didn’t just like the quality of her voice. They both believed that the real deep emotion of the type has to function as most significant thing.