Since 1834, French and Italian operas were performed in the
Bourla-theatre (Théâtre Royal). As reaction, some
Flemish dignitaries of the city had the idea to found an opera company
which would play only Flemish and German operas.
Finally in 1899, the building of the new opera house started. It was designed by Alexis van Mechelen. In October 1907 the new opera was inaugurated with Jan Blockx' (1851-1912) opera De Herbergprinses (La Princesse d'Auberge).
The opera is designed in the typical style of the late 19th Century with half-open balconies. It's striking that the lower (expensive) seats aren't visible from the upper balcony, and vice-versa. This was done to separate the poorer public from the rest of the public. This is also visible in the separate entrances and staircases.
8, Van Ertbornstraat
2018 Antwerp, Belgium
Tel: +32 3 233 68 08
Fax: +32 3 232 26 61