Ballrooms of Opera Ghent
Schouwburgstraat 3 - 9000 Ghent - BELGIUM
In the year 1698, the theater of the longbow archers guild “Saint-Sebastian” at the Kouter in Ghent was renovated and made suitable for the very first opera performances in the city. The building was inaugurated with the performance of the opera “Thésée” by the French composer Jean-Baptiste Lully lead by Giovanni Paolo Bombarda and Pietro Antonio Fiocco, who founded the “Muntschouwburg” in Brussels. In 1706, Jean-Jacques Quesnot de La Chênée obtained the license to play it in the Saint Sebastiaan theater.
He was the administrator of the Prussian King and the first Director of Opera and Comedy. In 1708 he was replaced by Guillaume de Valentin. In general, there were touring groups that alternated from month to month and didn’t limit themselves to the repertoire opera. More popular pieces, dancers and acrobats were also performed. This building burned down in 1715.
The new Saint-Sebastian Opera was build in 1735 by the architect Bernard De Wilde and made place for the Opera Building today. Finally, between 1837 and 1840 the city Architect Louis Roelandt build the magnificent neo-classic Royal Opera of Ghent, who was a perfect example of the enchanting "Grand Theatre" from the first half of the 19th century.
The Royal Opera of Ghent was more than 100 years independent until it’s fusion with the Royal Flemish Opera of Antwerp in the year 1981. In 1995, both operas officially got rebranded as the “Flemish Opera”.