Legendary artist David Hockney's stage design for Giacomo Puccini's Turandot made its debut in San Francisco in 1993, and returned in 1998, 2002, and 2011. Now it returns again to the San Francisco Opera in 2017. Since opera sets play as big of a role as a lead tenor, that speaks to the weight of the British artist’s creation.
Hockney remarked that “Turandot was the only Puccini opera I would do, because it is not verismo, there is … fantasy… I had seen many productions, most of them kitsch beyond belief, overdone chinoiserie and too many dragons.” Defined by edgy massive diagonals, and brilliant vermillion, the people of Peking apposed in stark black, the stage literally is set for a big, bold musical story. On December 3rd, David Hockney himself attended the performance, adding more luster to a red-hot event. Turandot will again be performed December 6 and 9 at the San Francisco Opera.