Anna Nicole Smith: The Opera

By Daniel P. Tucker
|  Saturday, Feb 19, 2011  |  Updated 9:14 PM CDT
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Anna Nicole played by actress Eva-Maria Westbroek receives a kiss from J. Howard Marshall II played by Alan Oke at the curtain call of Anna Nicole: An Opera in Two Acts Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, at the Royal Opera House in London. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)

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Take tabloid cover girl Anna Smith, a world-class librettist and celebrated composer, and the Royal Opera House in London, and voilà!

Anna Nicole” is born.

The show opened in London Friday night before a sold-out house. Those in attendance, and yes, even the critics, were impressed.

“It proved a weirdly inspired work, an engrossing, outrageous, entertaining, and ultimately, deeply moving new opera,” said Anthony Tommasini, music reviewer for the New York Times.

The story centers on the travails in Smith’s short life, including the media’s intrusive fascination with the blonde bombshell and her fatal overdose.

There’s no shortage of blood, sweat, tears, or provocative tongue-twisting in the two-and-a-half hour musical.

The lyrics include “I want to blow you all,” and “It’s the sound of Jimmy Choo shoes on a red carpet.” Sung in rhyming couplets, of course.

The Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek has portrayed Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame and La Duchessa di Parma in Busoni’s Doktor Faust.

This is her first time playing a lusty Playboy Playmate with an octogenarian husband.

The librettist, Richard Thomas, co-wrote the notorious 2003 musical “Jerry Springer: the Opera.”

Selected Reading: New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Broadway World
 

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