Anorak | Anna Nicole The Opera: Photos And The Jade Goody Curtain Call

Anna Nicole The Opera: Photos And The Jade Goody Curtain Call

by | 18th, February 2011

ANNA Nicole is now an opera. The blonde bombshell who married an ancient oil magnate, worked as lap-dancer and mobile Playboy spread, and died in a drugs stupor and gave us all a riveting read of fame and sex is now the subject of a stagey musical.

Eva Marie Westbroek plays Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera house in London. Led Zeppelin bass guitarist John Paul Jones is part of a jazz trio which will play alongside the orchestra.

Director of opera Elaine Padmore says it’s like a “modern day parable about the culture of celebrity… So many of the great classic operas take a real story and turn it into something with a universal application and what happened to Anna Nicole echoes the virulent nature of the culture of celebrity today. She was the ultimate overnight starlet who crashed and burned.

“She pursued fame and everything it promised, but it shows that you must be careful what you wish for. Anna Nicole may have enjoyed fame, but in the end it ran her and then it destroyed her. Her story is an opera for our times.”

And you thought it was a bit of sensation aimed at cashing in? If it is, Anna Nicole might well have loved it. This is the woman who flogged her C-section video:

What say the critics?

“It’s often very funny, but it’s not just a crude farce with a downbeat ending: I think it is underpinned by genuine compassion for Anna Nicole and genuine scorn for the forces that mould, and then destroy her. I’ll eat my six-gallon hat if it’s not a stonking great hit.” – Rupert Christiansen, Daily Telegraph

It’s already a film:

“Immaculately slick and deliciously imaginative’ production and a score that ‘packs an irresistibly visceral punch. Right topic, right time: Anna Nicole overtly puts America on trial: it reminds us that we had it all, but we threw it away. She’s not only a tragic heroine: she’s the rise and fall of Western excess itself.” – Jessica Duchen, Independent

“I wouldn’t be surprised if this sardonic fable for our times finds a second life on screen or in the West End.” Richard Morrison, The Times

And, if it seems incongruous for opera to tackle the story of a stripper and glamour model dismissed in her lifetime as “white trash”, that’s because it’s easy to overlook the genuinely tragic elements in the biographies of working-class women like Smith and Jade Goody. Joan Smith – Belfast Telegraph

“She was the one that got away” – Old Mr Anorak


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Librettist Richard Thomas (left) and composer Mark-Anthony Turnage take a curtain call for the opera 'Anna Nicole', after their opening performance at the Royal Opera house in Covent Garden central London, this evening.

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Posted: 18th, February 2011 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts Comment | TrackBack | Permalink