What's on: The acclaimed La Juive is back at Opera Vlaanderen


One of Opera Vlaanderen’s biggest successes has been revived, while Brussels is bursting with Klara creativity and African cinema is in the spotlight in Ghent

La Juive

One of Opera Vlaanderen's greatest successes of the past decade, La Juive is being revived this month. The opera has rather fallen out of favour among contemporary companies, but German director Peter Konwitschny’s 2014 version for Opera Vlaanderen won awards, wowed audiences and reminded the opera world what a masterpiece Fromental Halévy wrote in 1835.

The grand opera in five acts recounts a story of impossible love between a Christian man and a Jewish woman. As cultural norms and fundamentalism continue to dog religions in the 21st century, this thoroughly modern version still convinces. And the touches are brilliant: While the Christians have blue hands, the Jews’ hands are yellow. (In the original French, with Dutch surtitles) Until 21 March, Antwerp Opera; 29 March to 6 April, Gent Opera

Klara Festival

Brussels brilliant festival dedicated to classical and new music – in the broadest sense of the word – is back. This year’s theme is Libera Me, with concerts built around the mythical figure of Faust and the ancient struggle between good and evil. Check out the Night of the Unexpected at Kanal, where technology-infused concerts await in the building’s nooks and crannies, and don’t miss the Klara Festival Box, the smallest concert hall in the world. Until 29 March, across Brussels

Africa Film Festival Ghent

One need not wait until next month for Leuven’s cool festival of African cinema; the Ghent version is next week. With four films and a closing concert, it’s a mini-festival, but the selections are solid. Features include The Train of Salt and Sugar by Licinio Azevedo, in which a train full of passengers and goods makes its way across a late 1980s war-torn Mozambique (pictured), and Algerian writer-director Karim Moussaoui’s heralded debut feature En attendant les hirondelles (Until the Birds Return), a multi-portrait look at people trying to connect in a country still recovering from its own civil war. 20-23 March, De Centrale, Kraankindersstraat 2, Ghent

Get tix now: Eddie Izzard

He’s one of the world’s most famous stand-ups for a reason: Eddie Izzard’s routines seem so simple and yet are completely hilarious, largely because it appears he’s just being himself. The gender-bending comic’s new show, in both Antwerp and Brussels, is called Wunderbar, and he says it’s about the last 100,000 years of history. If anyone can pull that off, Izzard can. 23 April 20.00, Standsschouwburg, Antwerp; 24 April 20.00, Koninklijk Circus, Brussels

Photos: La Juive/©Annemie Augustijns, Wunderkamer/©Studio Hans Op de Beeck, Eddie Izzard courtesy Live Comedy