The journey from privileged heir to mental patient is the focus of The Rake's Progress, the neo-classical opera by Igor Stravinski, named "one of music's truly epochal innovators" by the All Music Guide. Sets and costumes for this Pittsburgh Opera production were designed by artist David Hockney. Not only is Hockney one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, his stage designs are the only place where Hockney's synesthesia influences his art. Hockney sees colors when he listens to music, so he bases the colors of the set, lighting and costume on the synesthetic visions inspired by the music of the opera. The Rake's Progress at Pittsburgh's Benedum Center is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to experience Hockney's synesthetic stage design. Inspired by a series of engravings by William Hogarth, with a libretto by poet W.H. Auden, The Rake's Progress is the story of young Tom Rakewell who deserts his betrothed for the bawdy temptations of London. In the city, Rakewell squanders his inheritance, eventually descending into madness.
Sung in English with English texts projected above the stage.
Running time is three hours and five minutes, including two intermissions.