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P O W D E R   H E R   F A C E
1999   112'   Opera Film   Channel 4


S Y N O P S I S :


POWDER HER FACE, a film for television of a contemporary opera by composer Thomas Adès and librettist Philip Hensher. Performed by the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, conducted by Adès, a cast of four singers, includes Mary Plazas in the lead role of the Duchess.

POWDER HER FACE is based on the life of Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. The opera begins and ends in the Duchess' hotel suite in 1990, and the story is told through a series of flashbacks of her life from the 1930's, 1950's and 1970's. The film was shot at Ealing Studios and on location at Eltham Palace and The Victoria Halls, London.

'POWDER HER FACE will no doubt have the tabloids ranting with outrage at the prospect of a scene depicting oral sex being shown on TV.' The Observer.


C R E D I T S :

D I R E C T O R
Margaret Williams

C O M P O S E R
Thomas Adès

L I B R E T T O
Philip Hensher

D U C H E S S
Mary Plazas

M A I D
Heather Buck

E L E C T R I C I A N
Daniel Norman

H O T E L   M A N A G E R
Graeme Broadbent

D I R E C T O R   O F   P H O T O G R A P H Y
Jonathan Bloom

P R O D U C T I O N   D E S I G N E R
Jennifer Kernke

E D I T O R
John Middlewick

P R O D U C E R
Gordon Baskerville


R E V I E W S :

The real interest of POWDER HER FACE lay in the way it demonstrated the possibilities of opera on television: the camera and the medium of television added further layers to the kaleidoscopic play of surfaces in the opera. Through the creative conflict between the different forms, POWDER HER FACE found a fascinating articulate grammar.'
Tom Service, Opera



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