Saigon Opera House

Standing magnificently at the heart of Ho Chi Minh City is the Saigon Opera House, which is also known as the Municipal Theater. The building stands as one of the impressive sight in Saigon – both night and day.

Saigon Opera House was built in 1898 by the French architect – Eugene Ferret, following the “flamboyant” style of the French Third Republic. It was set to be two meters higher than the street surface with two door layers, in order to prevent traffic noise.

Built in parallel structure, the Opera House is located on the city’s center axis, connecting the metro station and roundabout in front of Ben Thanh market. From a distance, the Opera House looks like a beautiful gigantic city gate. The architecture boasts stone-carved ornaments and statues at the entrance, crystal chandeliers, and shiny granite floor at the lobby area – all built with materials imported from France. The oval auditorium with 468 seats offers good view from every seat. It is also echo-free and therefore preserves all the sound inside the theatre.

The theatre 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 Ho Chi Minh City.

Interesting facts and figures

  • The Opera House was built in 1898 and carried out 3,200,000 square meters in total areas.

  • The theater 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 good view from every seat. It is also echo-free and therefore preserves all the sound inside the theatre.

  • The major renovation, which cost USD 1.7 million at the time, took 2 years from 1996 to 1998 to finish.

Significant historical events

  • January 17th, 1900: The first show of the Opera House was performed by French actors and actresses.
  • November 18th, 1918: The first time Vietnamese organized a performance at the Opera House, which is a play mixed with Cai Luong, a theatrical genre from Southern Vietnam, often known as Vietnamese Opera.
  • 1945 – 1955: The Opera House was closed during World War II and reopened in 1955 – after the Geneva Convention (1954), and became the Southern Vietnam’s Assembly House.
  • May, 1975: it is officially named the city’s opera house.
  • 1996: Saigon Opera House is closed for renovation.
  • December 18th, 1998: Inauguration ceremony of Saigon Opera House after 2 years renovation. The event marked 300th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh City.
  • 2012: The Opera House is certified a National Relic.

SHOWS at Saigon Opera House

A O Show A O Show

A O Show

A vivid portrait of Vietnam in urbanization time, painted with unique stage visuals and a touch of humor.
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The Mist The Mist

The Mist

The essence of Southern farmers’ life expressed in sensual contemporary dance language.
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Teh Dar Teh Dar

Teh Dar

Embodiment of vigorous Vietnamese tribes culture thru cirque, dance, music from tribal instruments.
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