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Arts + Culture

The World’s Most Stunning Opera Houses

Traveling to more than 40 opera houses spanning four centuries and four continents, photographer David Leventi uncovers the beauty of some of the world’s greatest opera houses.

All photographs by David Leventi, book published by Damiani

See recent posts by Siobhan Reid

The spectacle of the opera lies in the costumes, the lavish set designs and, of course, the music. But this wasn’t always the case, says photographer David Leventi, who spent eight years shooting the interiors of more than 40 opera houses in almost 20 countries. “Throughout the whole history of the opera,” Leventi told Out Magazine, “People liked to be seen and seen. It was less about what was going on onstage and more about what was going on in the audience.” Adding to the attendees’ state of awe and ceremony, were these music halls’ resplendent interiors — a spectacle in their own right. Now, Leventi has published a visual catalogue of these grand cultural institutions in his new series Opera, which, more than presenting a mere typology of houses, also reveals the extent to which these ornate interiors stand as symbols of their countries’ wealth, grandeur and musical legacy. Here, Leventi shares five of his favorites, from the Kunglia Operan in Stockholm to the Palais Garnier in Paris.

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Teatro alla Scala, Milan, Italy, 2008

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Curtain, Kungliga Operan, Stockholm, Sweden, 2008

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Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Bologna, Italy, 2010

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Curtain, Palais Garnier, Paris, France, 2009

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Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London, Great Britain, 2008

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The Metropolitan Opera, New York, United States, 2008

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