Powder Her Face

I thought that Powder Her Face, a 1995 opera by Thomas Adès with libretto by Philip Hensher about the scandalous downfall of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, sounded interesting and booked myself a ticket. Unfortunately I wasn’t too impressed by the end result.

Performed in the Ambika P3 Gallery near Baker Street, the show suffered from bad acoustics, although the set was impressive enough. The actors involved gave generally good performances, particularly Amanda Roocroft as the Duchess, and the opera was well-directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins, but I found the production difficult to follow because I couldn’t always hear what was being said.

The music is crucial to an opera, but unfortunately I really disliked the score here. I found it tuneless and often rather irritating, which was a shame.

This was an interesting experience, but not one I would care to repeat.


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