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Meryl Streep to play opera singer Maria Callas for HBO

Meryl Streep in Doubt

Story by Jack Foley

MERYL Streep is to play opera singer Maria Callas for HBO.

Master Class will follow Callas in later life, teaching students at New York’s Juilliard school. It is based on the Tony-winning 1995 play by Terrence McNally.

The HBO film will reunite Oscar-winner Streep with director Mike Nichols, with whom she collaborated on the films Silkwood, Heartburn and Postcards From The Edge, as well as the award-winning HBO mini-series Angels in America.

In theatrical guise, Master Class was named best play at the 1996 Tony awards, where Zoe Caldwell was also recognised for her performance as Callas, while Patti LuPone and Tyne Daly went on to play the role, both on Broadway and in London’s West End.

In addition, HBO has also announced its intention to produce a biopic on celebrated American singer Bessie Smith, who was known to many as ‘the Empress of the Blues’.

Queen Latifah is to play Bessie and shooting is currently underway in Atlanta. The film is scheduled for a 2015 premiere.

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