Anna Nicole Opera, With Sarah Joy Miller, Mary Testa and James Barbour, Will Premiere at BAM

By Adam Hetrick
19 Mar 2013

James Barbour
James Barbour

Anna Nicole, the Mark-Anthony Turnage-Richard Thomas opera about late tabloid and reality star Anna Nicole Smith, will receive its U.S. debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September as part of BAM's Next Wave Festival. It is a co-production with New York City Opera.

Performances are scheduled for Sept. 17-28 at the Gilman Opera House. The opera premiered at London's Royal Opera House in 2011.

Thomas is known as the author of Jerry Springer: The Opera. Turnage has penned the operas The Silver Tassie and Greek.

The cast will feature a mix of classical and Broadway performers including Sarah Joy Miller as Anna Nicole, James Barbour (A Tale of Two Cities) as Daddy Hogan, Rod Gilfry (South Pacific) as Stern, Christina Sajous (American Idiot) as Blossom, Mary Testa (A New Brain, Queen of the Mist) as Aunt Kaye, Susan Bickley as Virgie, Robert Brubaker as Old Man Marshall, Ben Davis (A Little Night Music) as Billy, John Easterlin as Larry King, Joshua Jeremiah as Deputy Mayor and Stephen Wallem ("Nurse Jackie") as Trucker.



Richard Jones, who helmed the London premiere, will return for the BAM staging. It will be conducted by Steve Sloane and feature scenic design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Mimi Jordan Sherin & D.M. Wood and choreography by Aletta Collins.

According to the creators, "Anna Nicole tells the story of Anna Nicole Smith, a small-town Texas waitress (and later, exotic dancer) in pursuit of the American Dream. Smith wed an octogenarian billionaire and became a Playboy model and tabloid celebrity, living a life of excess and substance abuse under the constant glare of the media until her death at the age of 39. This dynamic production mixes comedy and tragedy and boldly confronts issues of modern celebrity, greed, and exploitation."

NYCO subscriptions are currently on sale. Visit nycopera.com.

BAM subscriptions go on sale June 17 and single tickets go on sale Aug. 12. Visit BAM.org.