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A French Triple Bill: Metropolitan Opera 1982 poster by David Hockney (huge poster)


Entirely stunning and absolutely huge - 206 x 104 cm

With the resplendent gold background, the conductor, the yellow lights around the orchestra and brush strokes that seem to dance off the page, all the exhuberance of David Hockney's designs for the opera is captured in this extraordinary 31 colour screenprint on heavy stock.

This screenprint was created by David Hockney for the Metropolitan Opera’s Parade, a triple-bill of short French pieces directed by John Dexter, for which Hockney designed sets and costumes. The pieces included Satie's ''Parade,'' Poulenc's ''Les Mamelles de Tiresias'' and Ravel's ''L'Enfant et les Sortileges.”

The scale of the poster was occasioned by the size of the billboards at Lincoln Center.

At the top of the screenprint, “Parade” is written in blue, white, and red, with “Metropolitan Opera 1982” below. At the base the orchestra is depicted as strokes of yellow, and a yellow outline of the conductor raising his hands in the middle. Erik Satie’s Parade originally debuted in Paris in 1912, written by Jean Cocteau, and with costumes by Pablo Picasso. Featuring a troupe of carnival performers, it was panned for its avant-garde use of sound effects, bizarre costumes, and surreal plot. In Hockney’s depiction, a red curtain provides a backdrop for performers with hats. One figure does a handstand on children’s blocks which spell out “Satie”. Striped ladders lean on either side of the stage. Francis Poulenc’s Les Mamelles de Tiresias (The Breasts of Tiresias) is based on the eponymous play by Guillaume Apollinaire, following the antics of citizens in Zanzibar. Situated in the middle of this work, Poulenc’s name is spelled out in blocks, with a rocking horse perched atop. Hockney’s familiar soft, oval clouds move across the blue sky, with palm trees, a café, and a bar as the backdrop for several figures that stand on the street. On either side of the set can be seen razor wire stretched between posts, and the French flag planted in the fence. Maurice Ravel’s 'L'Infant et les Sortileges (The Child and the Spells) is the last ballet depicted on this poster. Following the story of a young boy, the ballet takes place in a garden, pictured here in jungle green. Large trees with bold, brick-red trunks spread over the top of the set, with figures in green and red at their base.

Approximate dimensions:  206 x 104 cm (81 by 41 inches )

This is an archive poster, printed by the Petersburg Press in the 1980s, now collectable and in very short supply. Given its age the condition is very, very good.  Our stock is sold as new. Please hang away from direct sunlight to prevent fading. We send out posters rolled in tubes - in the case of this particular poster, a huge one!