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Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City Overview

Saigon Opera House is a gorgeous venue to enjoy some of the best creative performances in the country. Also known as Municipal theatre, the building is a great example of French Colonial architecture and looks especially alluring in the evenings when bathed in soft lights. Ballet, classical music, concerts and traditional plays are all performed here.

The Saigon Opera House or the Municipal Theatre as it is otherwise known as, is one of the most popular tourists attractions in Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City. Originally built in French colonial times, the opera house has withstood the test of time majestically, and continues to draw large crowds eager to witness its many amazing shows and performances.

Saigon Opera House Shows

Cast of AO Show at Saigon Opera House
A Variety of Performances are Held at the Saigon Opera House (Source)

There are a variety of classical performances, plays, opera and ballet shows, and traditional Vietnamese dance and music shows that take place at the Saigon Opera House. The show timings and tickets can be accessed through the websites - Lune Production and Ho Chi Minh City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera. Some of the famous shows here include:

1. AO Show: The world wide acclaimed AO Show is an incredible blend of martial arts, contemporary dance and visual scenes from rural Vietnamese life. AO translates from the Vietnamese term Lang Pho to mean village and city. The show takes you on a memorable journey from Vietnam’s countryside and villages to its urban settings and city life.

2. The Mist: Through colorful lights and vivid paintings, the Mist is the story of Vietname farmers and how they brace themselves to deal with the challenges of a tough rural life in the countryside. With lilting music and beautifully choreographed dances, the show portrays the trials and tribulations of the ordinary farmers and their extraordinary courage in times of adversity.

3. Teh Dar: The poetic Teh Dar show depicts the lives of the Vietnamese highlanders. Featuring many interesting prop-aided performances like the bamboo cirque and basket boats, the show weaves a story focussing on Vietnam’s rich cultural traditions. It is a stunning ode to the Vietnamese tribals.

Saigon Opera House Ticket Prices

Saigon Opera House Seating Plan
Ticket Prices for the Shows at the Saigon Opera House Starts at VND 700,000 (Source)

The Saigon Opera House does not have any fixed timings, and depends on the performances and shows taking place. There is no entry fee.  The different shows have varying prices, with ticket prices. Generally the tickets are priced as such:
A Zone: VND 700,000,
O Zone: VND 1,150,000,
W Zone: VND 1,600,000,

Shows generally last for an hour or more, and it is a good idea to arrive earlier. Especially for those who have booked their tickets online, it is advisable to arrive and collect the tickets from the counter 45 mins to the show.

Saigon Opera House Dress Code

People generally like to dress smartly while catching a show at the Saigon Opera House. Smart casuals and other fine clothes are a good option.

Saigon Opera House Architecture

Saigon Opera House Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Saigon Opera House, Modeled After the Petit Palais in France, Exhibits Beautiful Colonial
French Architecture (Source)

The Saigon Opera House is built in the colonial French style of architecture. Its original inspiration was drawn from the Petit Palais in France which was constructed around the same time. The design was originally conceptualised by the architect Felix Olivier, and later on it Ernest Guichard and Eugene Ferret contributed to its construction. Constructed in a sweeping, majestic flamboyance reminiscent of bygone French supremacy, the building was meant to be an entertainment house for the elite. It has stone statues and verandas, colorful tiled floors, and ornately engraved walls. The building underwent major renovations in 1998 during Saigon's 300th birthday celebrations, when the building was fitted with modern lighting and other state of the art equipments.

How to Reach Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam
Saigon Opera House is Located in District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (Source)

The Saigon Opera House is located in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. The city centre is well connected by local taxis, and buses. The Grab (a Vietnamese version of Uber) is also a good option. After reaching Ho Chi Minh City, the Opera House can easily be reached by foot. It is located around 1 km away from the Ben Thanh market.

Saigon Opera House History

Saigon Opera House in the Early 1900s
The Saigon Opera House was Constructed by French Rulers in Vietnam in Late 19th Century
(Source)

The Municipal Theatre was originally built in the late 1800s as an entertainment and opera house for the French elite. Many of the materials like balustrades, ornaments and cartouches were imported all the way from France to give it an authentic French flair and elegance. During the 1940s, the architecture was thought to be too grandiose and over-decorated, and so the museum’s look underwent a number of changes, with many of the adornments being removed. The building also suffered damages during the Japanese bombing of Vietnam during World War II. Following renovation in 1957, it served as the Lower House for the Vietnamese Parliament for a period of time. In 1975, the Saigon Opera House was once again restored as an entertainment house and began putting up performances and shows.

Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Source)

The Saigon Opera House house remains one of Ho Chi Minh city's greatest and most loved attractions. The grand architectural style of the building makes it an impressive place for watching the beautiful shows and performances. People continue to visit this relic from colonial Vietnam to appreciate its historical significance and enjoy its cultural offerings.

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