Win 4 tickets to ‘Master Class’

Sandra Prinsloo as Maria Class in Terrence McNally’s Master Class.


A RIVETING play, Terrence McNally’s Master Class, offering a powerful portrait of opera diva Maria Callas in the context of the master classes she gave at the Juilliard School in New York in 1971, is to be staged in Johannesburg and Cape Town soon.

And even better news is that a follower of will win four tickets to attend the performance at Johannesburg’s Pieter Toerien Theare, Montecasino, at 8pm on March 15. See the end of this post for the competition entry details.

Master Class will be at Cape Town’s Theatre on the Bay from February 20 to March 11, then moves to the Pieter Toerien Theatre in Johannesburg from March 15 to 2 April 2. Tickets range in price from R180 to R280 and are available via Webtickets. No under-13s.

Master Class, presented by Pieter Toerien in association with Cape Town Opera (CTO), is written by the late American playwright, librettist and five-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally (Kiss of the Spider Woman, Love! Valour! Compassion!, Ragtime, The Lisbon Traviata). 

Directed by CTO’s artistic director, Magdalene Minnaar, with musical direction by José Dias, the two-act play stars Sandra Prinsloo as Maria Callas and features popular arias by Verdi, Puccini and Bellini. 

Prinsloo, in a purely acting role, will be joined by a stellar supporting Cape Town Opera cast including Soloist Brittany Smith, together with CTO’s Judith Neilson Young Artists Alida Scheepers and Tylor Lamani as the aspiring opera singers mentored by Callas. Musical Director JoséDias takes on a dual role as pianist and actor.Costume design is by Maritha Visagie and lighting design is by Magdalene Minnaar.

“Cape Town Opera is delighted to be presenting this superb piece of theatre,” says Magdalene Minnaar. “From having one of South Africa’s greatest actresses playing Callas to being back at Pieter Toerien’s Montecasino Theatre during the100th anniversary of Callas’ birth is very special.”

Master Class is a portrait of Callas in the context of the master classes she gave at the Juilliard School in New York in 1971, at a time when she herself had not sung in six years.

In the play, she is seen working with three students – two sopranos and a tenor. Aside from her biting wit, she is often blunt and even harsh in her efforts to mentor and prepare the singers for the cut-throat world of operatic performance.

The play’s riveting theatricality is truly ignited by Callas’s emotional outbursts and the soaring arias performed under her guidance.

The year 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Maria Callas’ birth. Born in New York in 1923 to a family of impoverished Greek immigrants, she rise to stardom and her recognition as the greatest dramatic singer of all time remains unchallenged. 

In Master Class, Terrence McNally, who was a devoted fan of ‘La Divina’and watched all of her performances at the Metropolitan Opera House, recreates her genius, recounts her triumphs and tribulations and reveals the tempestuous personality that often led to clashes and disputes with opera managers and colleagues during her career. 

As the five-hander play progresses, the daunting diva shares insights and memories, recalling her experiences on the world’s grandest opera stages, her marriage to the wealthy industrialist Meneghini and her highly publicised and ultimately heart breaking affair with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. 

While her life recollections in the play are vivid, McNally once explained that Master Class was never meant to be a docudrama, but rather a work of fiction. It is foremost about the price an artist must often pay in the pursuit of excellence and greatness.

To watch an interview with playwright McNally on Master Class, click here:



Care to put yourself in line to win FOUR tickets to the 8pm, Wednesday, March 15, performance of Sandra Prinsloo in Master Class, at the Pieter Toerien Theatre at Montecasino, Johannesburg?

You simply have to be a follower of the SoSuterBill site to win.  At no cost.

If you are not already a follower, simply leave your email address in the space provided towards the end of the cover page of this site, (access the cover page by clicking ‘Latest Posts’ on the menu bar).

You will then be a follower, and receive email notification whenever I file a new story.

Once you have subscribed (there is no cost), send your NAME and PHONE NUMBER via email (NOT THIS SITE’S CONTACT FORM) to and place the words ‘MASTER CLASS GIVEAWAY’ in the subject field. 

Note that the competition closes at 6pm on Friday, February 24, and the winner of the four tickets will be contacted soon after. His/her name will be posted in this spot thereafter. (The lucky winner of the four tickets was Mark Hawkins of Johannesburg).

Also note that tickets may not be exchanged for another performance and that the prize is for tickets only (not travel and/or accommodation should this prove necessary).




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