Turnage: Anna Nicole * Opus Arte * Directed by Richard Jones, 2011 * Blu-ray release date - September 27, 2011
It’s incredibly sad when a headline like, “Former Playboy Model Dies Of Drug Overdose” fails to outweigh the accumulated sorrow pertaining to an individual’s life story. All one can do in this situation is pray that everyone involved in the concentrated erratic-blend of American Trash, American Success, and American Tragedy, are finally resting in peace. But then again, for contemporary opera composer, Mark-Anthony Turnage–who was commissioned by the Royal Opera Of Great Britain to write an opera based on the late Anna Nicole–there’s a much more lively and upbeat choice of action.
Turnage and crew put a capital F in this opera like there’s no f’ing tomorrow. Instead of trying to hide all the abhorrent truths about Anna Nicole’s wretched life, director Richard Jones metaphorically takes stadium lighting and shines it directly on a football field worth of cockroaches. Right from the get-go the cast sings about tits and uses slick lyrics that make “Filthy Whore” seem like “Sunday School Girl.” It’s brilliant and where things really start to get orgasmic, is when it becomes evident that the more pockets-of-spiders uncovered–the more entertaining the bountiful opera seduces you!
Pure genius plays a shadowy role, during this onslaught of colors, absurdity, and overall ruckus. But even more daunting is that, embedded in all the snide, over-the-top entertaining, Anna’s actual, captivating true-story is eloquently told. Once Anna’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Yes (Andrew Rees), over-augments her boobies to the point that The Hindenburg seems tiny, the world’s obsession with Anna, fuels her endless escapades. The performance of Anna Nicole, by Eva-Maria Westbroek, is bodaciously bursting with botox. Westbroek even touches tongues with 89 year old, oil billionaire, J. Howard Marshall, with the grace of a stripper doin’ her new pole-routine. Anna Nicole is the John Waters of operas. Bra...vo! //