The Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep will soon be portraying opera star Maria Callas in the upcoming HBO film, "Master Class". According to news released late yesterday by Page Six, Streep will star in a movie adaptation of Terrence McNally’s Tony-winning play about Callas teaching students at Juilliard in 1971.
Streep will once again be joined by director Mike Nichols. The duo previously collaborated on films including “Postcards from the Edge", "Silkwood", and "Angels in America". HBO declined to comment on Streep's role in "Master Class", but Hollywood sources say that filming will begin in January. There is no word yet as to whether or not Streep will be doing her own vocals in the movie.
"Master Class" is based on a series of sessions that Callas presented at the prestigious Juilliard school of music. In the play, Callas berates her students as much as she encourages them. She also reminisces about her career and personal life, which included being dumped by Aristotle Onassis for Jacqueline Kennedy.
"Master Class" originally debuted on Broadway in 1995 with Australian actress Zoe Caldwell in the leading role and co-starring Audra McDonald. Both Caldwell and McDonald went on to earn Tony awards for their roles. The play has also run at the Kennedy Center in 2010, on Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production in 2011, and in the West End at the Vaudeville Theater in 2012.
The HBO film will not be Streep's first venture into the world of music. She sang the role of Donna in the 2008 movie musical "Mamma Mia". Streep will also portray a fading rockstar guitarist in the upcoming movie "Ricky and the Flash" written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jonathan Demme. Meryl will supposedly be learning the tricks of the guitar trade from Neil Young.
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