Burning History a videopera 

Dutch / Nederlands  Photos Kulturama  Libretto  


Success at Kulturama (14–17 February 2008)
more than 1,200 visitors saw the very first public screening of the video
First live performance
on Tuesday 13 March 2008 in conservatory of Leuven
screenings of video during open door days of SLAC (21-22 June 2008)


17 May 1940, the German army is invading the Belgian city of Louvain. While the English army is retreating the newly rebuilt university library is burning down for the second time. Almost nine hundred thousand volumes are being consumed by the fire, amongst them hundreds of precious manuscripts. The causes of the second destruction of the central library were disputed, but again precious heritage was annihilated. 

The videopera Burning History (7:30) evokes this historical event in an allegorical opera scene.

This SLAC project consits of a collaboration between the academy of Leuven and the conservatory of Leuven

with financial support of Edison communication

and the city of Leuven 


  • librettist, producer, video director:  Pascal Lefèvre (workshop digital art of Bea Albers, Johan Mangelschots & Jan Missotten) 
  • composor: Alex Christiaens(class of Erika Budai)
  • singers: Diana Van Dromme & Frank Schoonacker (class of Bart De Kegel)
  • pianist: Jeroen Bossens (class of An Sluys)
  • cellist: Pieter Vandaele (class of Peter Devos)
  • drummer: Jonas Segers (class of An Lemmens) 
  • flutist: Liesbeth Verdickt (class of Benedikte Goethals)
  • music recording and engineering: Mark Dedecker (SLM)
  • additional sound recording: Dirk Vanneste 
  • camera: Karel Vandereycken, Juliene Delwiche & Pascal Lefèvre
  • grip: Guido Declercq
  • set photographer: Molockolsadat Hosseini
  • central library: Erna Mannaerts 
  • language consultants libretto: Dirk Aerts (German), Karel Deburchgrave (English) 
  • swords: Jan Hendrickx of the Pynnock Knights Horst
  • publication score: Euprint