"A portrait contains two sides. It will always mirror two individuals, the model and the painter. A portrait is therefore an image of the two temperaments, and often it is in the encounter between the two, that a good portrait is conceived. The sitter has an image of him- or her self, and how the portrait should appear to the world, while the artist according to his view, will render the model through his own temperament.
Mikael Melbye has since 1994 been an opera director and designer. As late as January 2005 he was the creator of the first production of the new Opera in Copenhagen: Giuseppe Verdi's Aida. At this point he had long since celebrated his twenty-fifth anniversary as an opera singer in some of the most prestigious opera houses in Europe, USA and Asia.
As if this was not enough for this busy man, he started painting portraits in 1997. These are dense with presence. They are like intense chamber dramas, construed almost mythologically or classically. Here, not only the temperaments of the painter or the different models meet. The viewer is sucked in to the image frame, and will encounter all that is not revealed right away, but is only hinted at through a special format, or a special way of showing a hand.
Mikael Melbye is an artist through and through, who reaches far due to sensibility, talent and a great capacity for hard work"
Writer of "Northern Lights - The Skagen Painters"