Monday, August 26, 2013

Opera Houses by David Leventi

David Leventi (b. 1978) grew up in Chappaqua, NY and Nantucket, MA. In 2001, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. From 2002 to 2008, Leventi assisted Robert Polidori in his studio and on international shoots as First Assistant, Studio/Archive Manager and Drum Scanner. His photographs have been widely published in Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN The Magazine, and many more...

Leventi's current project, titled "Bjoerling's Larynx," records the interiors of world-famous opera houses. Photographed with a large-format view camera, this body of work is architecturally meticulous. The large prints historically document these national landmarks, capturing rows of velvet seats, ornate private boxes, chandeliers and gilt decorations in incredible detail.
"The first opera house/concert hall I photographed was the Romanian Antheneum in Bucharest, Romania. It was an impressive-looking interior, awe-inspiring, with so many ornate details to look at and you just felt the space. You’re not actually in the space, but you feel it through the picture. You get emotion in the good ones." He describes of his work.
"My grandfather used to stroll around the living room singing. He was a cantor trained by the famous tenor Helge Rosvenge. Because of WWII he never got the chance to perform in many of the famous opera houses I photographed. For me, the act of taking a picture with an 8×10 large format camera from center stage is a performance in itself. In homage to my grandfather, I guess you can say I’m living out our dreams. The most sacred part of an opera house is center stage and singers spend years honing their voice for the opportunity to perform before a full house. Nobody takes it lightly when you ask for a couple hours alone on sacred ground (especially a photographer). Persistence and getting the right person on the phone was a big help. After I photographed a few, the project snowballed and access got a lot easier."
Drottningholm Palace Theatre, Stockholm, Sweden, 2008

Amargosa Opera House, Death Valley Junction, Calif., 2009

Estates Theatre, Prague, Czech Republic, 2008

Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest, Romania, 2007

Teatro La Fenice, Venice, Italy, 2008

Palais Garnier, Paris, 2009

Metropolitan Opera, New York City, 2008

Teatro di San Carlo, Naples, Italy, 2009

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