Recorded live at the Royal Opera House, 23 & 26 February 2011
Eva-Maria Westbroek (Anna Nicole), Alan Oke (Old Man Marshall), Gerald Finley (The Lawyer Stern), Susan Bickley (Virgie), Jeremy White (Daddy Hogan), Loré Lixenberg (Cousin Shelley), Peter Hoare (Larry King), Rebecca de Pont Davies (Aunt Kay), Dominic Rowntree (Older Daniel), Allison Cook (Blossom), Andrew Rees (Doctor), Grant Doyle (Billy) & Wynne Evans (Mayor); John Parricelli (guitar), John Paul Jones (bass guitarist), Peter Erskine (drummer)
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In a tragic-comic take on the extremes of celebrity culture, composer Mark Anthony Turnage, librettist Richard Thomas and director Richard Jones add Anna Nicole Smith to opera’s gallery of bad, sad girls. A pneumatic Playboy model who married an octogenarian billionaire, she achieved grotesque fame before her destitute, drugriddled death. With its jazz-coloured score and Eva-Maria Westbroek’s starry performance, this is, as the New York Times said: “an engrossing outrageous, entertaining and, ultimately deeply moving opera”.
"...It's a tremendous show...shocking it isn't; stunning it is!" The Independent
Contains very strong language and scenes of a sexual nature
Behind the scenes feature including artist interviews
Running time 120 mins approx
Region Code All regions
Picture format 1080i High Definition / 16:9
Sound format 2.0LPCM + 5.1(5.0) DTS
Menu languages EN
12th August 2011
“The six camera operators get in close enough for us all to appreciate the visual brilliance of Richard Jones’s direction and Miriam Buether’s colourfully absurd sets. Better yet, the cameras offer extra chances for the Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek to warm and tenderise Anna Nicole’s rollercoaster life...The camera’s scrutiny also helps appreciation of Gerald Finley. Always an eloquent stage performer, he’s unsettlingly plausible as Stern”
“this is an opera that demands to be seen in its full wide-screen glory...On DVD, the opera is worryingly compelling. The more Turnage and his librettist, Richard Thomas, pile one cringe-making scene upon another, the harder it is to look away...the whole cast is excellent...all bolstered by a vivid musical performance under Pappano...As it stands, the opera is a salacious expose and not much more - a compelling one none the less”
“a slick satire on the superficiality of American popular culture...Eva-Maria Westbroek gives a gutsy central performance”
2nd December 2011
“such pulsing energy and raucous humour in a brassy, vivid score that is perfectly matched to its trailer-trash subject...Nobody...could fail to admire Richard Jones’s flamboyantly inventive staging or Eva-Maria Westbroek’s brave and sassy performance in the title role of the rags-to-riches girl who married a billionaire and met a tragic end.”
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