Saigon Opera House or Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater is located on Dong Khoi Street, Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. With a rotating stage and a 800 – seat hall, the theater meets the required standards for various artistic forms such as singing, music, dancing and traditional and modern dramas.
Built at the beginning of 1897, under an original architectural design by French architect Ferret Eugene, who won a prize for theatre designing in July 1895, the Saigon Opera House was restored and renewed to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the foundation of Saigon (1698-1998).
The architectural style and staple material of Ho Chi Minh Municipal Theater of the old days are reflected in its stone veranda, a pair of white stone statues of pretty girls at the gate, the colorful granite tiled floors, the chandeliers, the bronze statues in front of the stairs, the audience’s hall with its arch engraved with decorative designs and rows of statues on the two sides of the theatre.
In the years of the Second World War, France was involved in many battles. In Vietnam the revolutionary high tide shook the colonial regime. The Saigon Opera House was closed and deserted. During the French re-invasion of the South after 1945, the Theatre was restored.
When the French invaders withdrew from the South under the Geneva Agreement in 1956, the Ngo Dinh Diem regime turned the theatre into the headquarters of the lower House, therefore the inside and outside structure of the theatre was changed considerably.
Regaining the power after 1975, the City authorities allowed a temporary repair of the theatre, returning its function to a central theatre. In 1995, a hundred years after the start of the initial building project, a restoration project was approved by the Municipal People’s Committee.
Many experienced historians and architects were invited to participate in this project. The theatre was renewed with new materials and equipped with state-of-the-art electric appliances, light and sound systems and fire and safety equipment.
Saigon Opera House is a good place for artistic performances by domestic and foreign art ensembles.
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