Centrally located in Ho Chi Minh City, this French Colonial style building is also known as the Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theatre. Influenced and inspired by the architecture of the Petit Palais in Paris, architect Felix Olivier designed this structure and its impressive main entrance with similar design styles.
Constructed in 1897, the Saigon Opera House consists of three levels, namely a main floor for seating and two more floors above it. While the designs were drawn up for the furnishings and the decor were done by a French artist, the roof, balustrades and ornaments were imported from France. Though at one time it was used as South Vietnam’s Lower House assembly, this historical opera house once again became a venue for theatre and other performances in 1975. Today it is not just operas that take place here, but a wide range of other shows and concerts that include ballet, pop and traditional local performances.
Given a facelift in 1998, the Saigon Opera House was worked on by a variety of well known artists and architects who were invited by the municipal government as part of the celebratory events that marked Saigon’s 300th birthday. While new elements have been added, features from its original design have also been incorporated such as the intricate auditorium arch, a stone veranda, chandeliers and bronze and stone statues. Within the building one will find high tech equipment including modern lighting and sound systems as well.
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