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Setting the Stage: David Leventi’s “Opera”

David Leventi, a New York City-based photographer, visited nineteen countries across four continents to create images featured in his new book, Opera (Damiani, June 2015). Leventi specializes in large format architectural photography. His images include all of the exquisite details in majestic opera houses—hand-painted ceilings, textured curtains and elaborate lighting schemes.

“Like the Bechers and Candida Höfer,” writes Leventi in a statement about the project, “I have photographed each house systematically from the spot at center stage where a performer would stand. In the same manner as which the voice of each famous singer projects and bounces off ornate private boxes and resonates under painted trompe l’oeil ceilings, the light in the opera house strikes each of these features and returns to the camera, affixing them to film.”

The project is an homage to historic opera houses, as well as to Leventi’s grandfather, Anton Gutman, a former opera singer who was never able to perform in any of these spaces. Images from Opera are on view at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City through July 10, 2015.

Related: How I Got That Shot: Ty Cole for Metropolis Magazine (For PDN Subscribers Only; login required)


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