Saigon Opera House – Neoclassical grandeur in Ho Chi Minh

Popularly known as the Municipal Theatre, the Opera House of Ho Chi Minh City is an impressive structure which has added elegance to the city. Situated at Le Loi Street, the place was established in 1897 and it shows the influence of neoclassical architecture style. The Opera House also reflects its influence of the Opera Garnier and Little Palace in Paris from which it has taken the original design. This magnificent three-story theatre can accommodate 1,800 spectators and is very well-equipped with all the state-of- art technology and facilities.

Saigon Opera House initially catered to a limited audience which mainly consisted of French elite in the society. During this time many international theatrical artists and musical troupes were welcomed to perform at the theatre. As a result of the flourishing theatrical industry and the emergence of other entertainment venues in Ho Chi Minh, the Saigon Opera House lost its popularity. This was a time that the theatre was in need of a crucial make-over and due to this reason in 1943 the opera house underwent magnificent changes and its façade’s decorations, engravings, and statues were removed to give it a more modern look.

After serving as the home of the South Vietnamese government’s Lower Assembly, this colossal theatre was unoccupied for many years following the end of the war. Saigon Opera Theatre was resurrected in 1998 and this magnificent edifice returned to its original splendour and regained its striking prominence in the city of Ho Chi Minh.

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Today, the Saigon Opera House offers a platform to all the local and international artists to showcase their talents and mainly it caters to the spectators who appreciate Vietnamese drama and music. The place is also a popular venue for various ceremonies such as graduations, music festivals and school performances. If you want to capture the best view of this fascinating site, take a look at it at night when the whole building is illuminated flamboyantly in amber lights against the Saigon night sky.

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