In what may well be the top opera story of this news cycle, the BBC announced it will televise Richard Thomas's "Anna Nicole: the Opera," a new libretto based on the troubled life of Playboy centerfold Anna Nicole Smith. At first glance, Smith's story doesn't seem a natural fit for a medium most avidly consumed by 19th century Italian noblemen. Few operas feature rich old Texans. However, it should be noted that similar concerns did not stop Thomas's last opera, "The Jerry Springer Show: the Opera," from doing brisk business.