Siamsa Tíre

World famous composer Thomas Adès to visit Siamsa

World famous composer Thomas Adès to visit Siamsa

Irish National Opera presents THOMAS ADÈS’ darkly comic opera, Powder Her Face.  Siamsa Tíre will host the composer on the final night of the tour.

Thomas Adès's “astonishing masterpiece” (The New York Times) tours to Wexford, Kilkenny, Navan, Sligo, Dublin and TRALEE

Irish National Opera (INO) opens its inaugural programme with leading English composer THOMAS ADÈS’s darkly comic opera, Powder Her Face.  This world renowned composer will only attend one of the tour performances and Siamsa Tíre will be honoured to host Thomas Adès on the final night of this tour on Friday 9th March.   

This pioneering work is based on the exploits of a notorious socialite, Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. She lived the high life from the 1930s onwards — the era is one of the many nostalgically evoked in Adès's score — and in the 1960s became embroiled in one of the first sex scandals of modern tabloid journalism. As the Judge in the opera puts it, “She is a Don Juan among women.”

The work has been hailed as “a modern classic” by The Times and The Observer.  INO's tour takes director and designer ANTONY McDONALD’s highly-acclaimed production to Wexford, Kilkenny, Navan, Sligo, Dublin and Tralee between Saturday 24 February and Friday 9 March. The co-production with NI Opera was first staged last year at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast.

The title role is taken by MARY PLAZAS (“the most compelling Duchess I've seen,” The Times), with Irish soprano DAIRE HALPIN and Australian-British tenor ADRIAN DWYER (“pitch-perfect in their incarnations of representatives of the lower orders,” The Telegraph), and British bass-baritone STEPHEN RICHARDSON (who “delivers a tour de force as the hysterical divorce court judge,” The Telegraph).

The four singers bring a staggering 16 roles to life while the 15-member Irish National Opera Orchestra, under conductor TIMOTHY REDMOND, swarms through the style-shifting world of Thomas Adès in a work that features the world’s most notoriously explicit aria.

Irish National Opera’s tour of Powder Her Face opens at the National Opera House, Wexford (Saturday 24 February) and tours to Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny (Tuesday 27 February ); Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (Thursday 1 March ); Hawk’s Well, Sligo (Saturday 3 March ); O’Reilly Theatre, Dublin (Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 March); and finally Siamsa Tíre, Tralee (Friday 9 March). 

THOMAS ADÈS, whose second opera, The Tempest, has been seen in London, New York, Vienna and Quebec, and whose third opera, The Exterminating Angel, was co-commissioned by the Salzburg Festival, The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Royal Danish Opera, is coming to see Irish National Opera’s production of Power Her Face in Tralee, where he will also give a pre-performance interview with conductor Timothy Redmond. 

Irish National Opera’s artistic director Fergus Sheil sees him as “arguably the most prominent opera composer of our day. Powder Her Face was written when he was just 24 and is a youthful explosion of energy and creativity. He’s the composer of the moment, and it’s unprecedented to have somebody of his stature at one of our shows in Tralee, which is a very long remove from New York's Metropolitan Opera".

Tickets start at €27, see

 Listings Information

Irish National Opera 

Thomas Adès (born 1971)


Sung in English, with English surtitles


Duchess Mary Plazas ALSO Maid / Confidante / Waitress / Mistress / 

Rubbernecker / Society Journalist Daire Halpin

Electrician / Lounge Lizard/ Waiter/ Rubbernecker / Delivery Boy Adrian Dwyer

Hotel Manager / Duke / Laundryman / Other guest / Judge Stephen Richardson

Timothy Redmond Conductor

Antony McDonald Director and Designer

Fabiana Piccioli Lighting Designer

Lucy Burge Movement Director

Danielle Urbas Assistant Director

A co-production with NI Opera

Running time approx. 135 mins including interval


NATIONAL OPERA HOUSE, Wexford   Saturday 24 February | 8.00pm | €27 / €30  Box Office – Tel: 053 912 2144 /

WATERGATE THEATRE, Kilkenny  Tuesday 27 February | 8.00pm | €27 / €30 Box Office – Tel: 056 776 1674 /

SOLSTICE ARTS CENTRE, Navan, Co Meath   Thursday 1 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30 Box Office – Tel: 046 909 2300 /

HAWKS WELL THEATRE, Sligo  Saturday 3 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30 Box Office – Tel: 071 916 1518 /

O’REILLY THEATRE, Belvedere College, Dublin  Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 March | 7.30pm | €35 / 38 Bookings (via the National Concert Hall) – Tel: 01 417 0000 /

 SIAMSA TÍRE, Tralee, Co Kerry  Friday 9 March | 8.00pm | €27 / €30 Box Office – Tel: 066 712 3055  /



More Information

About INO

Irish National Opera was created by two award-winning companies, Opera Theatre Company and Wide Open Opera. It took part in a competitive process in 2017 through which the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon selected it as its preferred provider of main-scale opera. Irish National Opera will present large-scale productions in Ireland’s larger opera venues, and touring productions throughout the country. The company is committed to showcasing internationally-acclaimed Irish opera stars as well as developing the next generation of artists.   @IrishNatOpera     #PowderHerFace

Irish National Opera is funded by The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.  

/ ends

← Back to News