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The Royal Opera House's operatic dramatisation of the rise and fall of late American glamour model Anna Nicole Smith is to hit our tv screens.  Librettist Richard Thomas' previous foray fusing opera with an American icon, Jerry Springer: The Opera, was the most complained about programme in tv history when screened in 2005.  The BBC received 47,000 complaints protesting the portrayal of Jesus in the piece, mainly from outraged Christian groups.

Anna Nicole's short run of just six shows earlier this year sold out well in advance of opening night.  The show follows her meteoric rise to fame from Playboy centrefold to movie star, her notorious marriage to billionaire J. Howard Marshall, 62 years her senior, and her tragic and untimely death.  Anna Nicole became a media fascination throughout her turbulent life, as the sex symbol struggled with yo-yoing weight, the death of her son Daniel and mystery over the paternity of her daughter Dannielynn.  Her addiction to prescription drugs led to her fatal overdose in 2007 in a Florida hotel room.

With Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek in the title role, Anna Nicole will be broadcast on BBC4 on Friday 25 March 2011.

[posted by James 11/03/2011]