Meryl Streep is set to play legendary opera singer Maria Callas in an upcoming film adaptation of Terrence McNally’s play Master Class.
Directed by Mike Nichols for HBO, the film will be set at The Juilliard School during the 1970s and will include incidental music by Verdi, Puccini, and Bellini.
Master Class debuted on Broadway in 1995 with actress Zoe Caldwell playing the iconic singer. The play is a dramatisation of a vocal master class given by Callas, in which she reminisces about her career, her personal life, and her affair with Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.
A 1995 review of the play in the New York Times said, ‘For all of its gossipy tidbits, Master Class is an unembarrassed, involving meditation on Callas's life and the nature of her art. Such subjects are not easily dramatised, certainly not with this brio.’
Maria Callas will be on the cover of the September issue of BBC Music Magazine, on sale 6 August. The accompanying free CD will include five exclusive Maria Callas tracks from Warner Classics's upcoming box-set, Maria Callas Remastered – The Complete Studio Recordings.