Anna Nicole opera debuts

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The tabloid life and death of Playboy star Anna Nicole Smith has made it onto the opera stage.

Anna Nicole is described as a "celebrity story of our times that includes extreme language, drug abuse and sexual content".

It is the work of composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas, who worked on Jerry Spinger: The Opera.

"The story we're telling is about a single mother who does anything to make good and look after her son," Thomas explained.

He added: "It's a very bleak tale but it's also beautifully comedic. There's an absurdity about her life that's very transcendental and beautiful and the opera is actually dedicated to her."

Anna Nicole's ex-boyfriend and father of her daughter, Larry Birkhead is said to be unimpressed with the production.

Turnage insists it is sensitively done, he said: "We don't think of it as trashy. Maybe I'm trashy, but we don't think of her like that. It's quite a cruel word to use.

"There's something quite special about her really, I think we've fallen in love with her after working on the show."

Anna Nicole is showing at the Royal Opera House until March 4.

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