‘Master Class' production extended thanks to sold-out performances

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake Acting Company has just announced an extension of its production "Master Class." One of Utah's great actresses is the reason for the sold out performances.

In "Master Class," Anne Cullimore Decker plays the part of perhaps the world's original diva: opera star Maria Callas.

"The original word of ‘diva' was a very positive thing," Decker explains. "Now, we usit in a very negative term: ‘She's being a diva!' And she (Callas) was both."

Decker plays Callas larger than life, when her career was fading. The set is simple, just like a recital hall at Julliard where, in 1971 and 1972, Callas held master classes and critiqued students' arias. Today's opera stars give Callas the credit for bringing acting to their art.

Decker, herself, has enthralled audiences in nearly every Utah theater. She received the 2009 Governor's Leadership in the Arts Award for extraordinary dedication both on and off stage. She believes, even in financially-difficult times, the arts remain essential.

"We need to take away from our daily worries, to get into something else and have a new spirit about things," Decker says.

That is why, she says, this play resonates with audiences: it's the art of discovery.

"She may not be Michael Jackson, but she is in the opera world—Maria Callas—and everyone should learn about Maria Callas," Decker says.

The critics are calling "Master Class" a rare gift. Many in Utah's arts community say the same about Anne Cullimore Decker.

"Master Class" will now run through Nov. 15 at The Salt Lake Acting Company. CLICK HERE for times and ticket information.

E-mail: cmikita@ksl.com

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Carole Mikita


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