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Dirty Duchess Party and The Idea of Justice

Dirty Duchess Party and The Idea of Justice

Event Buzz!

To mark its fifth anniversary, Opera Vista, Houston’s resident contemporary opera company, is staging its most controversial opera to date. Written by composer Thomas Adès and librettist Philip Hensher, Powder Her Face is a witty and lusty tale of the Duchess of Argyll’s marriage, subsequent divorce, and final descent into penniless obscurity in the 60’s. Audience members may recognize her from the infamous ‘Headless Man’ divorce scandal of 1963. More commonly referred to as ‘The Dirty Duchess’, the Duchess of Argyll is considered the Paris Hilton of her age and Adès’ opera is a colorfully accurate representation of this title. The opera examines how there is tragedy in even the most seemingly shallow and vain of lives.

Furthermore, Opera Vista is excited to announce that Sandra Bernhard, current director of HGOco and noted stage director in her own right, will be directing Powder Her Face. There are two opportunities to see the performance at Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center: November 10th and 11th at 8pm. Ticket prices are $20 and $40 and will be available for purchase through the Hobby Center website. Viswa Subbaraman, the production’s artistic director, would like to warn audiences that this production would be rated “R” if operas were subjected to such a rating system, and to please carefully consider that fact if you are intending to bring children. For more information please contact Alex Lawler, Opera Vista Senior Production Intern at or by calling 713.581.4442.

In honor of the Dirty Duchess herself, Opera Vista is hosting a ‘Dirty Duchess Party’ to kick-off the production. Mark your calendars for October 20th, 7pm-2am at Prohibition, start a tab and dance the night away to the music of the 30’s through the 60’s.

If you’re hungry, come enjoy a three course meal cooked by none other than Chef Olivier himself, with seatings at 8 and 9 pm. $90 buys a three-course meal, a ticket to ‘Powder Her Face’ and drinks. Not hungry? $250 buys bottle service for a table for you and your friends. Please note that there is no cover charge to attend the party.

In addition, Dr. David Eagleman, internationally renowned neuroscientist, will speak at 8 pm about traumatic brain injuries and their effects due to a theory that the Duchess’s promiscuous and self-destructive behavior was the result of one such injury sustained in attempted flight from paparazzi. Dress for the party is black tie and 1950’s chic with prizes for the best dressed. To attend please RSVP through

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For human rights enthusiasts and economic buffs Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen will be in our very own Houston town. Amartya Sen, 1998 Nobel Laureate, Economic Sciences will be present at the Rothko Chapel 40th Anniversary lecture, furthering examination and discussion of topics guest speakers have explored since the Chapel’s founding 40 years ago on Thursday, October 20, 7pm.

Sen is no stranger to educationists. Born in 1933 in West Bengal, India, he was educated in India and England, where he completed his Ph.D. at Cambridge in 1959. He is currently a Thomas W. Lamont University Professor and Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University. He has authored numerous books which have been translated into more than thirty languages, and he is the recipient of over 90 honorary degrees from universities around the world.

Well party goers and idealists both will have a blast on Thursday as both these events promise to intrigue your brains and your fashion skill!

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