* Act I begins with the lights intentionally lighting up the stage.
* An accompanist takes his seat at the piano.
* He takes his time, acknowledging friends in the audience.
* Maria Callas suddenly comes on stage, dressed in a custom pantsuit and expensive accessories.
* Maria approaches the edge of the stage.
* She tells the audience it is not a performance but a classroom.
* She says the audience should not applaud.
* Projecting is important, she says, and the students' lesson is to project to the audience.
* Music is the most important thing in life, especially Maria's life.
* She tells the audience a story about walking to and from the conservatory during World War II.
* She did not have the proper shoes and her feet bled.
* Discipline and courage, she says, are the proper foundation of an operatic career.
* Maria tells the story of her past during the first act.
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