November 4 - 28, 2010
Photographer David Leventi has endeavored to photograph the world's great opera houses in a dramatic body of work titled Bjoerling's Larynx (named for Swedish tenor Jussi Björling who was known for his technique, feeling, and the range of his voice.) Leventi, the son of two architects and the grandson of an operatically trained cantor and prisoner-of-war in the Soviet Union, believes that "the actual performance is just a part of the overall awe-inspiring experience of going to the theater - I believe that the space itself can be the event."
His exquisitely detailed images are not just beautiful records of architectural interiors, they are remarkable portraits of historic spaces. And they also offer the viewer a unique visual experience: "I have photographed each house systematically from the spot at center stage where a performer would stand. Lit solely by the existing chandeliers and lamps . . . everything is in focus from the front to the back of the house. The resulting view is an impossible one for the naked eye, but the camera allows both line-of-sight and periphery to come together in a single frame. This gives the effect - when one stands in front of the mural-sized prints - of being surrounded by the space."
Opera at Blue Sky features 15 large-scale color prints from Bjoerling's Larynx. On Saturday, November 6 at 2:00 PM, David Leventi will join Christopher Mattaliano, General Director of Portland Opera, in a public conversation at Blue Sky about this series.
Born in 1978, David Leventi grew up in Chappaqua, New York, and Nantucket, Massachusetts. In 2001, he received his BFA in Photography from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. From 2002 to 2008, Leventi assisted Robert Polidori in his studio and on international shoots. His photographs have been widely published in Vanity Fair, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, BlackBook, Travel & Leisure, Best Life, Forbes, I.D. Magazine, New York, LIFE, and Time Out New York. Leventi's personal work includes retracing his family's history and his great-grandfather's resistance to fascism and communism in Romania, which was featured as a photo essay in the second issue of Culture + Travel magazine (Nov/Dec 2006). Leventi was selected by Photo District News as one of 2007's Top 30 Emerging Photographers. In 2008, his work was included in Communication Arts Photography Annual and in American Photography 24 as well as receiving two Graphis Gold awards and being listed among Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 50 Finalists.
Opera appears at Blue Sky courtesy of Bonni Benrubi Gallery.