From reader Thurston:“The next-to-last scene in the first act features about two dozen guys meant to represent the Duchess’ former lovers coming on stage and hanging out completely naked. They face every direction, pretty much, so it doesn’t matter where you sit. Variety of body types, though no one seriously overweight.”
From Nudeyorker:“One full scene has 24 fully naked men walking around the stage, representing the memories of liaisons past of the slut duchess. The bass goes to the bathtub to pee, then turns around and pees on the floor facing the audience. Okay, the pee, while kinky, is mechanically produced. And Jon Morris spends about half the first scene with his pants at his ankles and shows off his perfect body. And there is much more to rouse fantasies. I never thought that I would see such goings on on a major stage.”
From the press release:
New York City Opera
Composed by Thomas Adés
Conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer
Directed by Jay Scheib
Inspired by the real-life sex scandal that rocked Britain in the early 60s, English composer Thomas Adès’ 1995 chamber opera returns to BAM 15 years after its New York premiere at the BAM Majestic Theater (now the BAM Harvey Theater). In this new production from New York City Opera, director Jay Scheib presents his genre-defying vision, integrating technology and daring physicality to this modern opera that plays off the public’s obsession with the tabloid controversy surrounding a series of Polaroid photos of Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, dubbed the “Dirty Duchess.” Through the prism of Campbell’s life story, and featuring Phillip Hensher’s libretto, Powder Her Face explores the intersection of gender, politics, and power.
The “phenomenal” (Il Giorno) British mezzo-soprano Allison Cook makes her US debut as the Duchess; Matt Boehler, “a bass with an attitude and the goods to back it up” (The New York Times), has his company debut as the Hotel Manager; “sterling tenor” (American Theater) William Ferguson returns to New York City Opera as the Electrician; and coloratura soprano Nili Riemer makes her company debut as the Maid.
LOCATION:Peter Jay Sharp Building
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
RUN TIME: 2hrs 15min with intermission
P.S. There are 2 more performances left. Feb. 21 and Feb.23.
Thanks to Thurston and Nudeyorker for the tip!