Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anna Nicole Smith Goes to the Opera

Britain's Royal Opera House will stage the premiere of an opera about Anna Nicole Smith in 2011. The libretto of Anna Nicole is by Richard Thomas, a creator of the controversial Jerry Springer: The Opera. Covent Garden commissioned the opera about the former Playmate in 2008. It will focus on her life, not the legal battles that followed her death, Thomas tells the BBC. Smith died of a prescription drug overdose in 2007. The opera will be performed February 17, 21, 23, 26 and March 1, 4.

Synopsis and full cast list after the jump.

From the Royal Opera House website:

A young Playboy model, an octogenarian billionaire husband, intrusive media fascination and a tragically early death. This is a roller-coaster of a real contemporary life for a blockbuster of a contemporary opera by the acclaimed opera composer Mark-Anthony Turnage (Greek and The Silver Tassie) and librettist Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer: the Opera). The story of Anna Nicole Smith is under the brilliant and idiosyncratic direction of Richard Jones and the baton of Antonio Pappano, Music Director of The Royal Opera, to make this a major event of the Royal Opera Season.

Sex, extreme language and drug abuse are part of the opera – after all, they were ingredients in a life that went from the dubious glamour of the sex symbol, through long and vicious legal struggles to a fatal overdose. How Anna Nicole was treated and how she was viewed is as much a reflection of the society that hounded her as of her own feelings and ambitions – Eva-Maria Westbroek creates what is a challenging and complex central role. This new opera is provocative in its themes, exciting in its bravura style and thrilling with its sheer contemporary nerve. Anna Nicole Smith’s life made the news – you can bet this world premiere will too.
Eva-Maria Westbroek in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at De Nederlandse Opera


Mark-Anthony Turnage

Richard Jones

Set designs
Miriam Buether

Costume Designs
Nicky Gillibrand

Co-Lighting designers
Mimi Jordan Sherin

Aletta Collins


Antonio Pappano

Anna Nicole
Eva-Maria Westbroek

Old Man Marshall
Alan Oke

The Lawyer Stern
Gerald Finley

Susan Bickley

Cousin Shelley
Loré Lixenberg

Larry King
Peter Hoare

Aunt Kay
Rebecca de Pont Davies

Allison Cook

Andrew Rees

Grant Doyle

Wynne Evans

ZhengZhong Zhou§

Daddy Hogan
Jeremy White

Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts

Deputy Mayor
Damian Thantrey

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