Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Powder Her Face


I watched Power Her Face at BAM a few weeks ago, thanks to my good friend Ellen Lindner and her friend Monique who got us the tickets to its premier.

I've never watched a modern opera before, but I've heard that this opera is based on a real life sex scandal of Duchess of Argyll in the early 60's.  Her husband, the 11th Duke of argyll presented evidences of her affairs with 88 men. Now that's an interesting story for an opera.

The music is composed by Thomas Ades. It was kinda hard to get into in the beginning with all the singers singling falsetto to non exsistant melody and odd percussions. But later I realized it fits into the crazy and absurd nature of the story so perfectly and began to appreciate it. And the set and costume designs were just gorgeous. The live videos of actions in the hidden rooms were projected onto some of the walls on the set, pushing the aspect of voyeurism. And the scene with 22 naked men on the stage was something that I'd never expected to see in an Opera.

After watching this amazing show, I was intrigued to find out more about the real Duchess of Argyll aka the "Dirty Duchess." There were many articles and photos of her online. She was definitely a gorgeous woman but her face showed so much disdain and boredom in every photo which was very well depicted in the opera. Here are couple of my drawings of the Dirty Duchess.