Irish National Opera (INO) opens its inaugural programme with leading English composer THOMAS ADÈS’s darkly comic opera, Powder Her Face.
pioneering work is based on the exploits of a notorious socialite,
Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. She lived the high life from the 1930s
onwards — the era is one of the many nostalgically evoked in Adès's
score — and in the 1960s became embroiled in one of the first sex
scandals of modern tabloid journalism. As the Judge in the opera puts
it, “She is a Don Juan among women.”
The work has been hailed as “a modern classic” by The Times and The Observer. INO's tour takes director and designer ANTONY McDONALD’s highly-acclaimed production to Wexford, Kilkenny, Navan, Sligo, Dublin and Tralee between Saturday 24 February and Friday 9 March. The co-production with NI Opera was first staged last year at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.
The title role is taken by MARY PLAZAS (“the most compelling Duchess I've seen,” The Times), with Irish soprano DAIRE HALPIN and Australian-British tenor ADRIAN DWYER (“pitch-perfect in their incarnations of representatives of the lower orders,” The Telegraph), and British bass-baritone STEPHEN RICHARDSON (who “delivers a tour de force as the hysterical divorce court judge,” The Telegraph).
The four singers bring a staggering 16 roles to life while the 15-member Irish National Opera Orchestra, under conductor TIMOTHY REDMOND, swarms through the style-shifting world of Thomas Adès in a work that features the world’s most notoriously explicit aria.
Irish National Opera’s tour of Powder Her Face opens at the National Opera House, Wexford (Saturday 24 February) and tours to Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny (Tuesday 27 February ); Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (Thursday 1 March ); Hawk’s Well, Sligo (Saturday 3 March ); O’Reilly Theatre, Dublin (Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 March); and finally Siamsa Tíre, Tralee (Friday 9 March).
THOMAS ADÈS, whose second opera, The Tempest, has been seen in London, New York, Vienna and Quebec, and whose third opera, The Exterminating Angel,
was co-commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, The Royal Opera House
Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Royal Danish
Opera, is coming to see Irish National Opera’s production of Power Her Face in Tralee, where he will also give a pre-performance interview with conductor Timothy Redmond.
Irish National Opera’s artistic director Fergus Sheil sees him as “arguably the most prominent opera composer of our day. Powder Her Face was
written when he was just 24 and is a youthful explosion of energy and
creativity. He’s the composer of the moment, and it’s unprecedented to
have somebody of his stature at one of our shows in Tralee, which is a
very long remove from New York's Metropolitan Opera".
Tickets start at €27, see irishnationalopera.ie
Irish National Opera
Thomas Adès (born 1971)
POWDER HER FACE (1995)
Sung in English, with English surtitles
Duchess Mary Plazas
Maid / Confidante / Waitress / Mistress /
Rubbernecker / Society Journalist Daire Halpin
Electrician / Lounge Lizard/ Waiter/ Rubbernecker / Delivery Boy Adrian Dwyer
Hotel Manager / Duke / Laundryman / Other guest / Judge Stephen Richardson
Timothy Redmond Conductor
Antony McDonald Director and Designer
Fabiana Piccioli Lighting Designer
Lucy Burge Movement Director
Danielle Urbas Assistant Director
A co-production with NI Opera
Running time approx. 135 mins including interval
NATIONAL OPERA HOUSE, Wexford
Saturday 24 February | 8.00pm | €27 / €30
Box Office – Tel: 053 912 2144 / nationaloperahouse.ie
WATERGATE THEATRE, Kilkenny
Tuesday 27 February | 8.00pm | €27 / €30
Box Office – Tel: 056 776 1674 / watergatetheatre.com
SOLSTICE ARTS CENTRE, Navan, Co Meath
Thursday 1 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30
Box Office – Tel: 046 909 2300 / solsticeartscentre.ie
HAWKS WELL THEATRE, Sligo
Saturday 3 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30
Box Office – Tel: 071 916 1518 / hawkswell.com
O’REILLY THEATRE, Belvedere College, Dublin
Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 March | 7.30pm | €35 / 38
Bookings (via the National Concert Hall) – Tel: 01 417 0000 / nch.ie
SIAMSA TÍRE, Tralee, Co Kerry
Friday 9 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30
Box Office – Tel: 066 712 3055 / siamsatire.com
FULL TOUR DETAILS & FURTHER INFORMATION at irishnationalopera.ie
National Opera was created by two award-winning companies, Opera
Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera. It took part in a competitive
process in 2017 through which the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon
selected it as its preferred provider of main-scale opera. Irish
National Opera will present large-scale productions in Ireland’s larger
opera venues, and touring productions throughout the country. The
company is committed to showcasing internationally-acclaimed Irish opera
stars as well as developing the next generation of artists.
Irish National Opera is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.