Opera House presents ‘Canaletto and the Art of Venice’

Submitted Photo No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present “Canaletto and the Art of Venice,” a special cinematic exhibition of the Italian artist’s work, on Thursday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m. as part of its Art & Architecture On Screen Series. Additionally, local visual artist George Petrella will exhibit his work in the Village Hall lobby before and during the show.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House will present “Canaletto and the Art of Venice,” a special cinematic exhibition of the Italian artist’s work, this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. as part of its Art & Architecture On Screen Series. Additionally, local visual artist George Petrella will exhibit his work in the Village Hall lobby before and during the show.

No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto.

Despite Canaletto’s close relationship with the city in which he lived and died, the world’s largest collection of his works resides not in his native Italy, but in Britain as part of the Royal Collection. This immersive journey into the life and art of Venice’s most famous view-painter, features more than 200 paintings, drawings and prints on display at The Queen’s Gallery in London. The images offer unparalleled insight into the artistry of Canaletto and his contemporaries, and the city he became a master at capturing.

The production also offers the chance to step inside two official royal residences — Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle — to learn more about the artist and Joseph Smith, the man who introduced Canaletto to Britain.

Theatre-goers will embark on their very own 21st century Grand Tour, visiting the sites enjoyed by their 18th century counterparts and immortalized in Canaletto’s views — from the Rialto Bridge to the Piazzo San Marco, and the Palazzo Ducale to the Church of Santi Giavanni e Paolo. Guided by the Royal Collection Trust curators and the world’s leading experts in Venetian history, this production is not only a wonderful way to see the exhibition, but an opportunity to get closer to Canaletto and the city that inspired him. The production has a running time of one hour, 25 minutes.

To celebrate local artists, the Opera House has partnered with members of the North Shore Arts Alliance to feature Petrella’s works in the Opera House lobby from 6:30-7:30 p.m., immediately prior to the screening of Canaletto and the Art of Venice. Petrella retired from teaching in 2007 after 31 years at Brocton High School. He emphasized technique in his teaching, believing a student could not express their creative ideas without the knowledge of how to manipulate the media.

He started taking art lessons at the age of 11; and oil paints are his primary medium. Capturing detail with subtle blending is his goal and is what gets him excited when it works. He’s been influenced by the fine linear detail of the Northern Renaissance painters, Albrecht Durer and Jan Van Eyck in particular. His work includes not only landscapes, but also portraiture. Finished paintings can be viewed online at: www.georgepetrella.com.

Individual tickets to “Canaletto and the Art of Venice” are $15, ($10 students). A special Live in HD Series flexible subscription of eight tickets that can be used however you want — one at a time to eight different events, all at once for eight people, or anything in between — is $116. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 716-679-1891, Tuesday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online anytime at www.fredopera.org.

The Art & Architecture Series is sponsored by Fredonia Place. Support also comes from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County and the Arts Services Initiative of WNY’s Give for Greatness program.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.

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