Meryl Streep to Portray Opera Legend Maria Callas in HBO Adaptation of MASTER CLASS

Meryl Streep to Portray Opera Legend Maria Callas in HBO Adaptation of MASTER CLASSThe New York Post's Page Six reports exclusively that Meryl Streep will take on the role of iconic opera diva Maria Callas in an upcoming film adaptation of Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play MASTER CLASS for HBO.

Mike Nichols will direct the project which is set to begin production in January. Streep, who has taken on other real-life figures such as Margaret Thatcher, Anna Wintour and Julia Child throughout her stellar career, is currently filming Diablo Cody's 'Ricky and the Flash' in which she portrays a fading rock star.

"Master Class", which made its Broadway debut in 1995 at the John Golden Theatre, tells the story of Callas and her teaching experience at the famed Julliard School in 1971. In the play, the singer shares stories of her career and personal life, including her love affair with Aristotle Onassis. The original production starred Australian actress Zoe Caldwell in the title role, and featured Audra McDonald. Both went on to win Tony Awards for their performances. The show closed on June 29, 1997 after 598 performances and twelve previews. Patti LuPone played the role in the London production at the Queens Theatre, opening in April, 1997.

Master Class also ran at the Kennedy Center in 2010, directed by Stephen Wadsworth and starring Tyne Daly as Callas. The play was then revived on Broadway in a Manhattan Theatre Club production at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, running from June 14, 2011 to September 4, 2011 for 70 regular performances and 26 previews. Directed by Stephen Wadsworth, the cast featured Tyne Daly as Callas, with Sierra Boggess as Sharon. This production transferred to the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre from January to April 2012, with Daly as Callas and Naomi O'Connell as Sharon.

HBO has declined to comment on the report.

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