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Anna Nicole Smith, the opera?

February 12, 2009 |  7:32 am

Anna_nicole_smith_the_operaJust when we thought we'd heard everything: From London comes word that the Royal Opera House plans a new opera based on the life of Anna Nicole Smith.

"It is not going to be tawdry, it is going to be witty, clever, thoughtful and sad," Elaine Padmore, Covent Garden's director of opera, told the Guardian newspaper.

"It will tell the story of her life, the people who influenced her, her progress," Padmore said. "Clearly the story is about a woman who met an ancient gentleman in a wheelchair, but it's not going to be a straight narrative; choices have been made about significant moments, selecting which incidents in her life are to be built up."

To be sure, there's no shortage of drama in the story of the former stripper and Playboy playmate who in 1994, at age 26, married 89-year-old Texas oil billionaire J. Howard Marshall (yes, that's a  63-year age difference). After her husband's death 13 months later, Smith spent years in court, fighting over the $1.6-billion estate with Marshall's son from an earlier marriage. In 2007, three days after the birth of her daughter, her 20-year-old son by her first marriage died. Five months later, in 2007, Smith was found dead in her hotel room in Florida of an accidental drug overdose.

British classical music composer Mark-Anthony Turnage will work with librettist Richard Thomas, a co-creator of the controversial "Jerry Springer, the Opera." Richard Jones will direct the opera, which is expected to go up in 2011.

--Lisa Fung

Photo: Anna Nicole Smith in 2005. Credit: Danny Moloshok / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (9)

Will there be subtitles?

I think that is a great idea! although i admit i am a little tired of hearing about Anna. my question is will the opera air in the United States? You mention it starting in London, so will it eventually come to the US?

You're kidding?

I can't believe that something as beautiful as an opera has to take on a subject matter that is so....."morally casual" shall we say? Trying to make that gold digger's life look beautiful and full of grace is going to be quite a task. This is the woman who argued a will all the way to the US Supreme Court after all, dragging her husband's family through 10+ years of gut-wrenching litigation. Why don't they write an opera about someone inspiring?

Do Larry Birkhead and Howard K. Stern have to approve this idea? Anybody know?

30 to 40 years ago, critics with a similar mindset, thought musicals about Jesus and Evita were euqally ridiculous...

This is just another was to exploit her memory. As if her life weren't tawdry enough, now there will be an opera to memorialize it further? And to make light of the way she tried to bilk the Marshall family...just repugnant.

Wouldn't it be best to wait until the whole saga is officially over- i.e. when the legal battle finally finishes up, before the ANS opera is finalized? Oh wait, those greedy attorneys will NEVER let that happen.

Anyone have any ideas what rights HKS/Birkhead /her mother have to her story? Is this all just another way for the "ANS Sleeze Crew" to make another buck?

ANS should be left in peace- however, her own friends need to let her rest first.

i personally think she was very beautiful but, she only wanted to marry him for his money which i think was very selfish. honestly i don't know why he didn't realize that's all she wanted. i mean what 26 year old beautiful young woman would want an 89 year old man other than for his money? i think when she couldn't get his money she decided to kill herself.


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