Saigon Municipal Theatre – the twin version of Hanoi Opera House

Municipal Theatre of Saigon (a.k.a Saigon Opera House)is an opera house in South Central, Vietnam. Built by the French at the mid-point of historic rue Catinat, the Municipal Theatre is one of Saigon’s most iconic landmarks.

                                         Saigon Municipal Theatre's history

Some of the tourist places you cannot miss during your  Saigon trip is the Municipal Theatre, also known as the Opera House. Located in the heart of Saigon, district 1, this building was built in 1897 by the architect Félix Olivier, and it is a fine example of the French colonial style.The first version of the theater was constructed in 1872 on the site of today’s Caravelle Hotel. According to an article of 3 June 1880 in the Courrier de l’Indochine, this first Saigon theatre specialised not in the operas of Gluck or Mozart, but rather in the works of Offenbach, Lecocq and other geniuses of the comic genreIn front of the Opera, there is a small green park where panels hanging from a metal structure, compose a hallway and a showroom, where we usually can admire collection of pictures and information about the history, culture and tradition of Vietnam (available in several languages)

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The Municipal Theatre is a smaller counterpart of the Hanoi Opera House, which was built between 1901 and 1911, and shaped like the Opéra Garnier in Paris with 800 seats to entertain French colonistsThe Municipal Theatre owes its specific characteristics to the work of architect Félix Olivier, while construction was under supervision of architects Ernest Guichard and Eugène Ferret in 1900.Its architectural style is influenced by the flamboyant style of the French Third Republic, with the façade shaped like the Petit Palais which was built in the same year in France. 

The house had the main seating floor plus two levels of seating above, and once was capable of accommodating 1,800 people. The design of all the inscriptions, décor and furnishings were drawn by a French artist and sent from France

                              A wonderful performance in front of  Saigon Municipal Theatre

The theater is now a venue for many high profile events and cultural – entertainment activities of the city. Certified as a national relic in 2012, this magnificent building stays on top of the must-visit of Saigon. With totally 3,200,000 square meters, Saigon Municipal Theatre was set to be two meters higher than the street surface with two door layers in order to prevent traffic noise. The oval auditorium with 468 seats offers a good view from every seat. It is also echo-free and therefore preserves all the sound inside the theater to make the city the building stands as one of the impressive sights in Saigon – both night and day.

 This stately landmark building hosts more than just opera; it's also home to classical recitals, pop concerts, and dance when your senses are taken on a visual, aural and inspiring journey, is only offered at the Saigon Opera House. When you are here, look for scheduled of AO Show, My Village, and The Mist Dance show. Each of them offers different chills and thrills but they are all quality entertainment that fascinates locals, tourists, and expatriates. Especially, Tickets were easy to get and comparatively inexpensive to enjoy a performance. The opera house is right off HCM Square which is the favorite part of Saigon.