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Video: Opera world braces itself for Anna Nicole Smith [Updated]

February 15, 2011 | 10:05 am

"Anna Nicole," a new opera by composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, will have its world premiere Thursday at London's Royal Opera House. The opera is based on the life of the late tabloid star, who died in 2007 from an apparent drug overdose.

Times music critic Mark Swed will have a review later this week from London. In the meantime, you can sate your curiosity about the opera by watching the trailer (above), which the Royal Opera House has posted on YouTube.

Smith, a former stripper, married 89-year-old Texas billionaire J. Howard Marshall in 1994. He died 13 months later, and Smith subsequently spent years in court fighting over her husband's estate with Marshall's son from an earlier marriage.

"Anna Nicole" stars Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role, along with Alan Oke as Marshall and Gerald Finley as Howard K. Stern, who was Smith's lawyer and partner. The cast list also includes ensemble roles described as "lap dancers" and "meat rack girls."

The opera is directed by Richard Jones, with Antonio Pappano conducting.

The librettist for "Anna Nicole," Richard Thomas, worked on another tabloid-themed stage work -- "Jerry Springer: The Opera," which premiered in 2003.

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'Jerry Springer: The Opera' coming to Southern California

-- David Ng

[Updated: A previous version of this post incorrectly associated Turnage with "Jerry Springer: The Opera."]

Photo: Anna Nicole Smith in 2004. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

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