By Erika Owen
May 12, 2015
empty opera houses

If you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to stand front-and-center on a stage in one of the world’s most beautiful opera houses, photographer David Leventi has your answer. While the seats may be empty and the orchestra pit barren, his shots of the ornate halls carry enough grandiose detail to leave anyone in awe.

This is much more than just a photo series to Leventi. He grew up with two architect parents and a grandfather, Anton Gutman, who was a professionally trained cantor—the latter of which was the inspiration for this project. Gutman would perform for prisoners and officers while held at a Soviet Union prisoner-of-war camp.

With a crew of Arca-Swiss cameras in tow, Leventi pulls out hidden details by bouncing light off of the lavish architecture, resulting in large-format pictures that almost appear more painted than photographed.

If you want to see some of these shots in person, check out Leventi’s exhibition “David Leventi: Opera” at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York City, which kicks off May 7.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.