A Souvenir Of A Triple Bill For Andrea Velis, part of the seriesHockney And The Stage, is a signed intaglio print in an edition of 300. It was created as a tribute to Andrea Velis, an American opera singer who spent 33 seasons (totalling an amazing 1867 performances) working as a tenor at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the name of which is written in bright colours above the orchestra pit. Echoing Hockney’s print for the ballet Parade, which featured a one-act scenario by French poet Jean Cocteau, Erik Satie’s name also adorns the top of the composition. The names of other French composers involved in the production of other famous plays, Maurice Ravel and Francis Poulenc, also feature prominently on the drop curtain — a recurring motif in Hockney’s works during this period — flanking the lively theatre scene below. A band of Pulcinella, characters originating in the commedia dell’arte of the 17th century, fill the stage, instilling a light-hearted and comic tone only intensified by a pair of inverted tricolore flags. Complete with speech-bubbles, borrowed from cartoons and filled with the words ‘What about the colour?’, they act as figurations of Hockney’s light-hearted self-awareness. On the left side of the print, another pulcinella, gesturally alluded to with light strokes of watercolour, responds to the questioning of his fellow actor – the colour is in fact in the theatre. Referencing Hockney’s admiration of all things theatrical — a medium he had been interested in from as early as 1975 — a trapeze acts as a frame for the piece’s title, its allusions to circus acrobatics giving the piece a playful and tongue-in-cheek feel which recalls Hockney’s 1964 piece,The Acrobat.