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Classical Pick of the Week: David Hockney's Tristan & Isolde

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You probably relate David Hockney's name with his famous California photograph called "Pearblossom Highway #2." But one of the contemporary artist's early loves was opera and he's back, for the third time ever with Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde" with the LA Opera, a "great ode to sexual ecstasy," the production company writes in the tag line of the title.

It's a five-hour piece, but you can guarantee people will come out in droves for one of history's ultimate love stories. And if these fans were opera fans in Los Angeles 20 years ago, they are probably coming back, maybe for their third time. It's sort of become a decade anniversary as Hockney collaborated with the LA Opera on this piece in 1987 and 1997, making this the second revival, something the LA Times looked into earlier this morning (what does "revival" really mean ?). And the Downtown News is running a story about it, dated tomorrow.

In the Times article, Hockney half jokingly observes that one of his set designs may have inspired local architect Frank Gehry: "He observes that his 1987 design for the billowing ship's sails in Act 1 bears an uncanny resemblance to the curves of architect Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall, opened in 2003. 'Frank might have seen this, don't you think?'"

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"Trisan and Isolde" opens this Saturday across the street from Disney at the Dorothy Chandler Music Pavilion.

Photo by Ken Howard