Opera – the timeless mélange of librettos and musical scores that wrenches hearts and tickles funny bones has reached a new stage in its long lived life. While classics like The Marriage of Figaro and Carmen can never be replaced, they can share the spotlight with new and upcoming productions such as Anna Nicole, this decades bold and enthralling new opera which is based on the life of the deceased American actress, model and celebrity Anna Nicole Smith.
Formulated in 2 acts by English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas, Anna Nicole was first released in 2011 at the Royal Opera House in London where it rocked the audience and provided them with a deep insight into a heartbreaking story that takes place in the midst of the age of media and technology. Two years later, the performance, directed by Richard Jones and conducted by Steven Sloane has hit the big apple as the opening production of the BAM 2013 Next Wave Festival, receiving raving reviews that deem it both a revolutionary work of our time as well as a catastrophic insult to its classic predecessors.
Starring Sarah Joy Miller as the famed Anna Nicole and Susan Bickley as Virgie, Anna’s mother, both in their NYC Opera debut roles, along with Robert Brubaker as J. Howard Marshall II, Anna Nicole’s second husband, and several Broadway veterans, the cast lineup for this season is definitely bursting with talent that has, according to many critics, succeeded in capturing the greed, fantastical ideals and highs and lows of the lifestyles of the rich and famous while effectively incorporating unique jazz and blues scores.
Whether or not you find the opera up to the standards of other renowned works, and whether or not you followed the life of Smith, you cannot deny that the performance is a commentary on our media obsessed society with its capturing story line that delves into audacious depths and introduces humor that lends a bit from the dark, this opera is truly a one of a kind view into the life and death of the woman who “wanted to be the new Marilyn Monroe”.
Click here to see the performance schedule.
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Avenue,
Brooklyn, NY, 11217
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