Anna Nicole Smith Opera Opens Today in London

There is an Anna Nicole Smith opera – really – and it’s opening today at the Royal Opera House in London. It’s the tale of “a young Playboy model, an octogenarian billionaire husband, intrusive media fascination and a tragically early death,” according to the website. The libretto was written by the same guy who did Jerry Springer: The Opera, another thing I was blissfully unaware of until right now. Do they just make operas out of anything these days?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’ve always thought of opera as something my dad listens to in his home office; something that old people get all dressed up for and attend with those little tiny binoculars. Melodramatic celebrity lives are more the province of TV movies and unauthorized Kitty Kelley biographies. Anna Nicole’s life was insane, though, and I guess if you want to get into some heavier culture-studies stuff, full of grand overarching themes about our society and fame and so on. And if there’s one thing opera loves, it’s grand overarching themes. This is the trailer (operas have trailers now! What a world):

Anna Nicole is played by Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, whose previous roles include parts in Tosca, Verdi’s Otello, and Strauss’ La Damnation de Faust. Maybe I’m joining the lowest common denominator, but it actually seems…entertaining. Still better as an E! movie, maybe.

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