According to, David Leventi photographed forty operas of nineteen countries from a rarely seen perspective in eight years. Budapest is also among the forty most beautiful.

Placido Domingo wrote the preface of the book, in which David Leventi photographed the most beautiful opera houses of the world. “David has traveled the world trying to catch the essence of these music churches, and thus he himself has created art. It’s clear that the pictures were taken by someone who has not only a good eye, but a good ear as well”.

For the recently-published book, David Leventi photographed 40 opera houses of 19 countries in eight years. From the inside. Everyone knows the opera houses from outside, many people have already passed by the Budapest opera, but the fewer were inside, in the auditorium.

According to, the large-format images focus on the architectural details, not by chance: the parents of the photographers are architects so he knew what to watch for. “It was almost a religious experience for me when I walked in these big spaces”.

Most of the photos were taken from the middle of the stage, so from the perspective of the opera singers, from which visitors have little chance to contemplate. The auditorium, the stage and the orchestra pit are always empty, only to pay attention to the building and its decorating. Opera houses are very diverse, there are beautiful, fancy, ornate and completely cleared. “But each of them is full of energy and you feel something great will happen in them. I think performance is only part of the experience, when we go to the opera. The space itself also plays an important role.” – Leventi wrote.

The photographer is tied to opera by his family as well: his grandfather was cantor Anton Gutman who studied with the famous Danish tenor Helge Rosvaenge after World War 2. The two of them met in a Soviet prison camp, where Gutman performed many times. After war, however, he did not continue to sing, but Leventi remembers he always sang in the living room while walking. In the photos of Levente, it seems as he would want to show the stages for his grandfather who had never had the chance to get to, said.

The 40 most beautiful included the Scala in Milano, Metropolitan in New York, Palais Garnier in Paris, London’s Royal Opera, the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the Royal Swedish Opera, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Opera House and of course, the Budapest Opera House, which was visited by the photographer in 2008.

The photos are also exhibited in New York along with the publishing of the book.

translated by BA

Photo: MTI


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