Benedum Center for the Performing Arts
May 3, 6, 8
7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 2 p.m.
Making its Pittsburgh premiere is David Hockney’s production of the iconic 1951 opera by Igor Stravinsky.
The Rake’s Progress is an opera in three acts featuring music by Stravinsky and a libretto by W. H. Auden and Chester Kallman, and is loosely based on 18th-century paintings and engravings by William Hogarth.
The production showcases hundreds of dazzling and meticulously designed period costumes and sets by another iconic artist—the award-winning English painter, David Hockney, a central figure within the Pop Art movement of the 1960s.
Described as a “living David Hockney art installation set to Stravinsky’s beautiful neo-classical music,” the opera follows along for the decline, fall and misadventures of main character Tom Rakewell. After deserting Anne Trulove, Tom befriends Nick Shadow—who turns out to be the devil—squanders his large inheritance on women, drinking and gambling, and ends up as an inmate at Bedlam hospital.
For the timeless opera’s striking visuals, Hockney created works that evoke the look and feel of Hogarth’s original engravings, using black cross hatching and a color palette featuring red, blue and green hues. Further augmenting the opera is archival footage screening in the Benedum Center lobby prior to each performance that features an interview with David Hockey conducted by his contemporary Andy Warhol.
Directed by Roy Rallo and conducted by Antony Walker, the opera stars Alek Shrader (Tom Rakewell), Layla Claire (Anne Trulove), David Pittsinger (Nick Shadow) and many others.
On May 3rd, don’t miss the special “Meet the Artists” event immediately following the production. Gather in the Benedum’s lower lobby to enjoy conversations with Pittsburgh Opera General Director Christopher Hahn and the show’s stars.
The three-hour opera is sung in the original English with texts projected above the stage and includes two intermissions.
Looking for a creative date with mom this Mother’s Day? Seats to the Mother’s Day performance of The Rake’s Progress are now 50% off with promo code “POMOM.”
Looking for more events? Read our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in May feature.