Anna Nicole, The Opera - Anna Nicole, The Real Life Drama

Posted by Carole Stuart on September 30, 2013 | Permalink

Last Friday night I visited Fort Greene, a part of Brooklyn I used to live in and had not been back to for a long time.  It isn’t the Fort Greene I knew.

What brought me there was the BAM production of the opera, “Anna Nicole” with libretto by Richard Thomas and music by Mark-Anthony Turnage.

It struck me that if Barricade Books had not published “Great Big Beautiful Doll” by Eric and D’eva Redding, there would not have been an opera.

Eric was the photographer who took the first pictures of Anna (then known as Vickie) who lived in Mexia (pronounced Mahaya), Texas.  He took snapshots of a very pretty Vickie, and sent them to Playboy.  They responded by sending her a ticket to Los Angeles to have a photo session.

Anna, being somewhat lacking in education, was upset when she got her airline ticket.  “You said I was going to Hollywood,” she complained to Eric. This ticket says Los Angeles.”

Well, intelligence may not have been her strongest suit but her beauty, augmented by new breasts, sure was.  Enormously photogenic, she quickly became a star.  Her life story has been widely reported in the press including its tragic ending.

The opera was amazing.  Funny, smart, and wildly entertaining.  Sarah Joy Miller, the soprano who played Anna, was just terrific.  The rest of the cast was wonderful.

It was a great show but a sad moment.  This New York City Opera production may have been the company’s last.  The company couldn’t afford to stay at Lincoln Center and backing has not been enough to keep it going.

Oddly ironic if its final performance was about the life and death of Anna Nicole Smith. 

Until next time,





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