Powder Her Face

Powder Her Face is a co-production between Northern Ireland Opera and Opera Theatre Company.

Notorious socialite Margaret Whigham's sensational 1963 divorce from the Duke of Argyll was pure tabloid fodder. Headlines of her extravagances enthralled and titillated a gossip-hungry public in what was perhaps the world's first modern-day sex scandal. 

In this darkly comedic and contemporary opera, Thomas Adès has written a powerful story of an aristocratic woman's fall from grace.  Evoking an earlier nostalgic era of elegance, wit, decadence and jazz, Powder Her Face chronicles the exploits of the cruelly-named "Dirty Duchess" in a roller-coaster ride of celebrity fame to eventual downfall.

The success of this work with audiences worldwide has firmly established Powder Her Face as a classic modern opera. Written by one of today’s most virtuosic composers, this Irish premiere production is directed and designed by‘"One of the wittiest and most visually alert designer-directors around’ - (Opera Now) Antony McDonald  (The Importance of Being Earnest), and with Timothy Redmond conducting, Powder Her Face stars soprano Mary Plazas, as the Duchess, alongside Adrian DwyerStephen Richardson and Irish soprano Daire Halpin.

Tour Details

Saturday 24 Feb Wexford National Opera House
Tuesday 27 Feb Kilkenny On Sale Soon
Thursday 1 March Navan Solstice Arts Centre
Saturday 3 March Sligo Hawk's Well Theatre
Tuesday 6 March Dublin On Sale Soon
Wednesday 7 March Dublin On Sale Soon
Friday 9 March Tralee Siamsa Tire

Production Information


Duchess Mary Plazas
Electrician Adrian Dwyer
Hotel Manager Stephen Richardson
Maid Daire Halpin

Creative Team

Conductor Timothy Redmond
Director/Designer Antony McDonald
Lighting Designer Fabiana Piccioli

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