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Anna Nicole the Opera to Open


An opera based on the life of Anna Nicole Smith, presented by the Royal Opera, will have its world premiere in London next February, according to the Associated Press.

Anna Nicole will star Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as the late model, actress, and Playboy playmate. Mark-Anthony Turnage of the well-received Jerry Springer: The Opera will compose, with a libretto by Richard Thomas.

Smith died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007 at 39. A onetime spokesmodel for Guess, Smith married 89-year-old oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994. He died the following year, and Smith spent much of the rest of her life fighting a protracted legal battle with his son over his estimated $500 million fortune.

Smith died five months after the death of her 20-year-old son from her first marriage. A subsequent legal battle over custody over her infant daughter Dannielynn revealed that her former lover Larry Birkhead was the child's father.

Smith had passed her lawyer and partner Howard K. Stern off as the girl's father.

Smith was a longtime supporter of gay rights and served as the grand marshal for Los Angeles's 2005 pride parade.

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