Your RDA of Irony

Diet Valkyrie

Anna Nicole Smith Opera Taking the Stage

BBC News reports composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and writer Richard Thomas, along with London’s Royal Opera House will put on a stage performance about the larger-than-life former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, who died in 2007 of an accidental prescription drug overdose.

Donizetti composed “Anna Bolena“.  This could be “Anna Bulimia“.

Act I:  Anna is a waitress at a Texas truckstop.  She introduces herself with the aria:  “Che Gelida Manina” (Check out my jello).  There she is discovered by a starving Chicago artist Ugo Efneri who paints her portrait “Madonna of the Big Tomatoes.”

Act II:  Now famous on pasta jar labels, Anna is seen regularly on the talkshow of Lorenzo Reggio.  In his 800 years, he has never seen a woman more beautiful or one that made him seem so intelligent.  Lorenzo asks Anna to be his 47th wife.  She replies  in the aria “Bella figlia dell’amore” (More Figs Are Lovely) that she prefers food to men and flees to a Carmelite convent, expecting to find caramels.

Act III:  Hoping to increase her metabolism by ingesting 50 pounds of drugs a hour, Anna sings “Un bel dì” (Unbelly Diet.)  That doesn’t work.  Her last wish was to be covered in gingerbread and left as a cottage in a German forest. 

But that’s another opera…

Ironically, today is the anniversary of an excellent opera.

  1. Bob Kincaid says:

    Dadgummit, Eugene! That may be the best, most post-minimalist piece of satire you’ve EVER written. It’s almost satire haiku. “Lorenzo Reggio?” You were definitely deeply into your oats today!


    Me, I have only one question: why is ANYONE still writing “opera?” Didn’t that art form die out with the Hohenzollerns or Hohenstefferns or Hollziwhozisseseses?

    If you’re writing for the theatre today and it’s got people singing where normal people would otherwise be having what we hillbillies call “dialogue,” wouldn’t that, in the era since Rodgers and Hart, Hammerstein or some drunk from the Bowery, be called “Musical Theatre?”

    “There’s a bright golden haze on the dumpster . . . “

    • jc says:

      not bad, clean gene! I’m gonna be pestering you soon. keep it up jc

    • Eugene Finerman says:


      Post-minimalist satire? I think that I have been insulted. At the very least, you’ve accused me of being an Ivy Leaguer.

      Why is anyone younger than Giocomo Puccini writing operas? Well, Benjamin Britten was trying to keep tenors employed. (I won’t delve further, but I am afraid Britten did.) By composing his cacophonous messes John Adams actually is performing acts of noble self-sacrifice; he is distracting the very innovative director Peter Sellars from ruining great operas. Sellars’ idea of “Don Giovanni” was set in Spanish Harlem and the Don was a drug dealer–exactly what Mozart and DaPonte had in mind.


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