Melodrama, hyperbole, money, sex and death. Sounds like an opera to me.
March 10, 2010 1:41 PM   Subscribe

Before the snark, Anna Nicole seems like classic Opera potential. Born poor, local beauty, married oddly, fame and tragic decline. Big mushy meaty totally straightfoward and in neon colors, just how opera should be.
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2010 [3 favorites]

and NOW I read the title
posted by The Whelk at 1:46 PM on March 10, 2010

For the record, I love opera and I think this is absolutely brilliant. I have very high hopes for this.
posted by greekphilosophy at 1:49 PM on March 10, 2010

From the creator of "Jerry Springer: The Opera," natch.

(Incidentally, according to the info on Wikipedia, which is correct about all things at all times, the Strib is incorrect. Mark-Anthony Turnage had nothing to do with JS:tO.)
posted by Madamina at 1:52 PM on March 10, 2010

This will have broad appeal.
posted by hal9k at 2:44 PM on March 10, 2010

I wouldn't care if an opera was about toenail fungus if it had melodies like Cosi Fan Tutte, Yevegeny Onegin, or even La Boheme. The problem with modern operas isn't what they're about. It's the total disappearance of the pleasure principle from the music.
posted by Faze at 3:01 PM on March 10, 2010

Madamina - it seems the internet at large does not credit M-A T for Jerry Springer: The Opera. His wiki pages includes four opera (like) works. When searching for Mark-Anthony Turnage jerry springer -anna -nicole, the only hits are links to discussions of JS:TO and some work by Mr. Turnage. The confusion possibly arises from Richard Thomas being also involved with Anna Nicole, as he was the man behind the charming JS:TO.

Here's a bit more info on Anna Nicole (the opera) for those interested, or who know more of opera than I do.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:05 PM on March 10, 2010

Also, kudos on being the first to use the operaseria tag.

Furthermore, the prior MetaFilter posts to use the annanicolesmith tag are a bit surprising. You'd think we were obsessed with celebrities or something.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:09 PM on March 10, 2010

I think the confusion comes from the Thomas link also - I noted the confusion in the article before posting it and did a bit of research but didn't want to muddy up the post too too much with asterisks and amendments and such. Here's another article, which interviews Elaine Padmore, Covent Garden's director of opera. Her take seems to indicate that it will get much more serious treatment than something like Jerry Springer did. I'm relieved to read that this isn't going to be tabloid opera.

Unlike Faze, I'm not of the opinion that the subject of opera is unimportant. I'm sorry, but watching bohemians stagger around and die from tuberculosis just doesn't do it for me. I just think, "GET A JOB YOU FUCKING HIPPIES! MAYBE IF YOU SPENT LESS TIME WRITING A WALTZ FOR MUSETTA YOU'D BE ABLE TO EAT MORE REGULARLY!" Watching someone descend into the pit of celebrity? That's tragedy that speaks to a contemporary audience.
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:24 PM on March 10, 2010

I favorited the post for future reference in case I need a good cry.
posted by Cranberry at 3:29 PM on March 10, 2010

Madamina, the librettist, Richard Thomas, was half the creative team behind JS: tO, composing as well as writing lyrics.

Talented British tenor Philip Langridge, who died March 6th, was scheduled to sing the role of the 90-year-old husband. Amid the larger sadness of his death, it's regrettable that he won't be able to do this-- he'd certainly have enjoyed it tremendously.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:09 PM on March 10, 2010

I'd want to stage the entire thing in hot pink and white feathers.

Maybe a couple thousand bubble machines.
posted by The Whelk at 4:41 PM on March 10, 2010

I want to have Marilyn Monroe appear as a narrator/spirit guide/siren that lures Anna Nicole to her ultimate fate.
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:26 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

After she first died, or maybe when she was in steep decline, I started writing a musical based on her life, purely for the challenge and because I thought it would be funny. The more I wrote, the more I realized that her story was kind of genuinely tragic - and not because she died or her son died.

No, she embodied the "he who the gods would destroy they first make famous" cliche. She had the desire for fame and wealth but completely lacked the skills to cope with the attendant challenges of that sort of success.

Stripping away some of the reality, I imagine her story can be thought of as one of a woman who did whatever she could to provide a happy life for her son and then lost her son in the process, leading her to die of grief.

Underneath the make-up and clothes and implants and drug induced insanity was a real person who was pretty damaged. Her undeserved fame might be the only thing that separates her from a million other people with the exact same story, but its also what makes her story interesting.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:36 PM on March 10, 2010

You could have Marylin act as Aphrodite to Helen in the Illiad, basically "Yes I know this is terrible, but YOU BELONG TO ME and this doesn't happen I swear to Zeus I'll make it so no man will ever look at you again, got it, MORTAL?"
posted by The Whelk at 5:40 PM on March 10, 2010

There needs to be a greek chorus of Gawker Stalkers.
posted by mediareport at 6:24 PM on March 10, 2010

I have thought of the man who could redefine opera as we all (think) we know it. The epic angle of opera is cut out for this man's personality and by sheer fortitude and commitment, could make a move that most would think insane, but has that crazy genius that just might work.

That man is Gary Busey.

The opera would be based on Bulletproof.

Again, Bulletproof.

"It's your worst nightmare, Butthorn!"

Garey Busey will save opera for the future of humanity. It will be warped and twisted, but saved.
posted by chambers at 10:04 PM on March 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

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