Touting "Powder Her Face"
Everyone loves a great party and if the key words are good food, great music and promising to be dirty then you are assured to get a crowd. In this case partygoers gathered for the "Dirty Duchess Party" at the Prohibition Bar in the Galleria to show their support for Opera Vista and tout the upcoming production ofPowder Her Face.
While Houstonians do not need a reason to party, the purpose behind "The Dirty Duchess Party" was also to celebrate Opera Vista’s fifth anniversary.
“To be honest, it’s a huge milestone. I can’t tell you how many times over the past few years I wondered if we could make it to the next season, much less to five years," said Opera Vista artistic director Viswa Subbaraman.
“To be honest, it’s a huge milestone. I can’t tell you how many times over the past few years I wondered if we could make it to the next season, much less to five years," said Opera Vista Artistic Director Viswa Subbaraman.
The entire Opera Vista family from the singers and instrumentalists to the board and the audience gathered at the newly-opened bar/lounge, that is inspired by the 1930s Moulin Rouge theme. The purpose was the kick-off for the production which has become the company's biggest and most involved yet. It runs at Zilkha Hall Nov. 10-11.
Written by composer Thomas Adès and librettist Philip Hensher, Powder Her Face is a witty and lusty tale of the Duchess of Argyll, who embarked on promiscious behavior reportedly after suffering brain damage in a fall. She engaged in affairs with prominent figures, each known in the British tabloids as the "Headless Man" because no one could identify them. She became a media sensation in the early 1960s.
At the party, neuroscientist David Eagleman gave a brief medical presentation on getting to know the duchess. "We've been jokingly calling it, 'Why the Duchess Was Dirty?" said Eagleman. He explained some of the duchess' patterns of behavior through the lens of her brain damage.
Also seen in the crowd: Jonathan Churchill Sandys, whose grandfather Duncan Sandys was reportedly one of the "Headless Men," Tracy Orolin Hendrix, Paresh Patel, Gina Morgan, James Phelan, Cortney Cole, Jennifer McLaughlin, Mercedes Smith, Brent Eidson andSandra Bernhard, who will be directing Powder Her Face.
For more information about the November performances, click here.
Ruchi Mukherjee is a lifestyle feature journalist for TV Asia and host of Lights Camera Action, an online magazine that covers Houston Indo-American society news.