Monday, December 19, 2011

Anna Nicole Smith Opera Update

Looking Back at ‘Anna Nicole,’ ‘Griselda’ and ‘Don Giovanni’ - The biggest surprise was “Anna Nicole,” the opera by the British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage that had its premiere in February at the Royal Opera in London. When I heard that Mr. Turnage was writing a work about the tawdry life and death of the Playboy Playmate and laughable actress Anna Nicole Smith, I feared the worst: something vulgar, sensational and full of cheap laughs. But “Anna Nicole,” with a witty libretto by Richard Thomas and an eclectic score, is a brilliant, outrageous and, finally, quite moving work that treats Smith as an unlikely tragic heroine. The dazzling production offered a showcase for the charismatic soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, who also impressed New York audiences this year as Sieglinde in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Wagner’s “Walkure.”

Hat tip to George Kelley.

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