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Too Tabloid for Opera?

Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith: The Opera at the ROH

By Laura Clout
The Telegraph

The life of the late Playboy centrefold Anna Nicole Smith is to be turned into an opera by the co-creator of the cult musical Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Composer Richard Thomas is writing the libretto for a contemporary piece, to be staged at the Royal Opera House in 2010.

He said the tragic life story of Ms Smith, a former stripper who died from an overdose of prescription drugs a year ago, was "a classic American tale about celebrity" which was "intrinsically operatic".

The production, still in the early stages of development, is intended to be shown on the main stage at the Royal Opera House, accompanied by a 90-piece orchestra.

Mr Thomas admitted that he was fascinated by stories which might seem "trashy". He told The Independent newspaper: "It's an incredible story. It's very operatic and sad. "She was quite a smart lady with the tragic flaw that she could not seem to get through life without a vat of prescription painkillers."

However, his choice of subject, a woman labelled "the queen of trailer trash" by American tabloids, is unlikely to appeal to diehard fans of classical opera, some of whom have accused the Royal Opera House of dumbing down.

Read more about this at the Telegraph website: