Written by Thomas Adès in 1995, at the age of 24, Powder Her Face is based on the life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, a woman brazenly avaricious for money and sexual experience but whose story remarks Adès, show that "even horrible people are tragic.
Set in the early 1990s, the aged and isolated duchess is seenliving at London's Dorchester Hotel, oblivious to her now strained financial circumstances and her imminent eviction. A series of flashbacks to her colorful past in the '30s, '50s and 60s, are enacted by three hotel workers who, in the present, treat her with barely-concealed derision.
Mary Plazas' powerful portrayal of the duchess is complemented by the performances of Heather Buck, Daniel Norman and Graeme Broadbent. Thomas Adès himself conducts the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.
BONUS:Feature-length documentary: Thomas Adès - Music for the 21st Century
Produced & Directed by: Gerald Fox
“Overflows with brilliant invention” - The Independent
“A new substantial talent who can write real music and make it as accessible as pop” - The Wall Street Journal
“England's most promising young composer” - Die Welt
Mary PlazasHeather BuckDaniel NormanGraeme Broadbent
Birmingham Contemporary Music GroupConductor & Composer: Thomas AdèsLibretto: Philip Hensher
Producer: Gorden BaskervilleSet Designer: Jennifer LernkeCostumes: Gideon DaveyDirected for Stage: David AldenExecutive Producers: Helen Sprott and Gilian GreenwoodDirected for Television and Film: Margaret Williams
Bonus Film Produced and Directed:Gerald Fox
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