Get ready for a Masterclass with Amanda Muggleton

Amanda Muggleton won the 2002 Helpmann for Best Actress for her portrayal of opera diva Maria Callas in Terrence McNally’s play Masterclass.

Now fifteen years after she received her first Helpmann, she’s returning to the challenging role when a new production arrives at the Subiaco Arts Centre in November.

As she’s get’s ready to head into rehearsals for the part, Muggleton said she didn’t think have any problems finding the character again.

“She’s deep within my heart, this woman.” Muggleton said.

“I’ve got so much research on her, I’ve got the most amazing collection of books and DVDs, and podcasts.”

The actress is also excited about a new take on the play, which will see the audience being immersed into the action.

“Have you ever stood very close to an opera singer?” Amanda Muggleton asks, “I can’t tell you what that’s like. It’s so loud, you feel it in your own chest, in your own heart.”

McNally’s play documents Callas in her latter years when she gave a series of masterclasses to opera students.

Long after the acclaimed performer has lost her famous singing voice, she recounts her early career, her triumphs at La Scala, and her love affair with Aristotle Onassis

“In this play, she’s so funny, and she actually was when she was doing these Masterclasses.” Muggleton said. “She’s so cruel, but it is funny. She pulls no punches with these students, she embarrasses them.”

“The wonderful thing is the tragedy, and the drama, and the comedy of this woman, which is in her real life, is in the play. It’s the most amazing play, Terrence McNally is one of my favourite writers.”

The effervescent actress first rose to national prominence playing Chrissy Latham in 107 episodes of TV’s Prisoner, but it’s on the stage she’s forged an acclaimed career appearing in many successful plays including Shirley Valentine, Educating Rita, Steaming and The Bookclub   

Masterclass is at the Subiaco Arts Centre from 2 November, tickets are available via Ticketek.

Graeme Watson

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