Ho Chi Minh City (popular known as Saigon) is a city in southern Vietnam best known for its pivotal role in the Vietnam War. Saigon is also known for French colonial landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral built entirely with materials imported from France and Central Post Office built in the 19th century. And the Municipal Theater is a gothic construction. Not only is a palace to hold large art events and performances, but this is also a tourist destination attracting visitors. So Lily’s Travel advises you to explore the amazing place once when you are in Ho Chi Minh city.
General information and location
Municipal Theatre has other names Ho Chi Minh City Theater or Saigon Opera House. Built-in 1898 with a prime location right in the center of Saigon City, the theater is a place for national ballet, orchestra and opera performances, especially famous for its evening cultural programs.
The municipal is an important cultural site that was recognized as a national monument in 2012. It is considered a multi-purpose theater specializing in theatrical performances and is also the venue for several great events.
Address: Number 7, Cong Truong Lam Son Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1
Opening hours: 9:00 – 16:30 (Monday – Friday); 9:00 – 12:00 (Saturday and Sunday).
Read more: Vietnam History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City: The first museum in Ho Chi Minh City
Something interesting inside the municipal theater in Ho Chi Minh city
The unique architecture
The opera house was started in 1898, completed 2 years later. This building was designed by a group of French architects, characterized by a skillful combination of architecture and sculpture. From the exterior to the interior of the Theater, there are many reliefs and embossed statues.
The outside of the theater is influenced by the decorative arts of the Petit Palais Museum (built the same year in Paris, France). But the interior of the house is modernly designed with a full system of lights and lively sound. In addition to the ground floor, there are 2 floors which can accommodate up to 1,800 seats.
The building was damaged because of war and time. In 1998, this place was restored with the motto of restoring and preserving the original architectural style. The motifs such as artistic goddess statues, and flower strings… were restored to their original state nearly 100 years ago.
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The artistic concerts
With 1800 seats, open air, and a modern sound and light system, the Theater is the place to organize professional theatrical performances such as drama, Cai Luong, opera, ballet,… If you are one who like art and performance, Lily’s Travel advises you to take a chance to watch theatrical performances there.
5 shows you must watch when coming to the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City
– A O Show: With familiar and rustic props, the show shows the simple and dear Southern countryside.
– Opera Gala: Performance of famous symphonies of the author: Mozart, Beethoven, …
– The Mist: The performance shows the life of the Vietnamese community
– Musical – Dance: Performances by professional actors and orchestras
– Vietnamese music programs: Performances praising the homeland, country and people of Vietnam
January 17th, 1900: There was the first show at the Opera House which was performed by French actors and actresses.
On November 18th, 1918: The first Vietnamese performance mixed with Cai Luong was organized at the municipal theater. It is a theatrical genre from Southern Vietnam, often known as Vietnamese Opera.
1945 – 1955: The Opera House was closed because of World War II and reopened in 1955 and became Southern Vietnam’s Assembly House.
In May 1975: it is renamed the city’s opera house and it is the official name of this building.
In 1996: Saigon Opera House is closed for renovation.
On December 18th, 1998: Inauguration ceremony of Saigon Opera House after 2 years of renovation. The event is to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2012: The Opera House is certified as a National Relic.
Some notes you should remember
The Opera House is a quite luxurious place for performances and events, so you should pay attention to dress neatly and politely
You should not bring smelly food and drinks inside the Opera House
Don’t forget to prepare your camera and phone to take pictures with famous artists
You should come earlier than the show time to avoid being in the middle of the show, affecting the people around
The Municipal Theater, Ben Thanh Market, Reunification Palace, and Notre Dame Cathedral … are destinations you should not miss in your Ho Chi Minh tour itinerary because not only beautiful but also these places. It also carries many important historical values of Saigon in general and Vietnam in particular.
Do not hesitate to explore immediately and always the Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City.
In Vietnam, the first theaters were also built in the early 1900s, the largest being the Hanoi Opera House and the Ho Chi Minh City Municipal Theater. As the place where major cultural and art shows take place, theaters in Vietnam are still at the level of serving art shows on a domestic market, not yet a place attracting foreigners. But to the locals, Ho Chi Minh Opera House is still the symbol of culture and art. Many Vietnamese generations were there to watch the symbol of the city changed and became the most attractive destination to visit in Ho Chi Minh city.
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