• 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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