“But nothing, in fact or publishable fiction, would have prepared them for what they were about to hear: an insatiable woman, unusual sexual practices, blackmail, bribery, a diary listing conquests, odd encounters in bathrooms, artfully composed photographic mementoes of these occasions featuring the so-called “headless man” (actually, two men), rumours of the involvement of royalty and a cabinet minister, a list of 88 possible co-respondents, pornographic postcards, and more.”
The scarlet Duchess of Argyll: Much more than just a Highland fling
“The opera may be about a very 1960s scandal involving the Duchess of Argyll, but, with its pornographic snaps, it has vivid echoes in today’s luridly self-publicising culture”
Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face and the shocking power of the sex selfie
“Although the opera will likely be remembered primarily as the first to incorporate a particular sexual act on stage (listen to this excerpt where the Duchess seduces a hotel waiter and you may catch on), it’s Adès’ terrific score that endlessly delights.”
Who Says Classical Music Can’t Be Sexy?