25.04.23 – 31.12.23, Opera & Ghent

Opera originated in Italy at the end of the 16th century and transformed over the following centuries from a noble entertainment to a tool for social change. During the 19th century, opera played an important role in the social fabric of Europe. In Belgium, opera even triggered the revolution of 1830 that led to independence. This exhibition comprises pieces from the collections of the Muziekbibliotheek Gent, Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and the International Opera Academy that demonstrate the importance of opera in the city from the 19th century to the present day.

Throughout the exhibition, you will see costumes from Opera Ballet Vlaanderen's production of Philip Glass' opera Akhnaten, which was performed in 2015. The costumes are the work of Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck. These contemporary pieces are on display along with the Muziekbibliotheek Gent's own collection of manuscripts and iconography from the 19th to 21st centuries.

At the end of the exhibition, you can watch an interview with Jacqueline Van Quaille. Ms Van Quaille studied at the Ghent Conservatory and describes her studies here in the 1950s and her international opera career.

mon-thu: 10:00-17:00
fri-sun: closed
Closed for summer between 10 July - 15 August