Amid the flow of Hanoi’s history of 1000 years old, Hanoi Opera House proudly stands at the heart of central Hanoi as one of its most famous architectural, cultural and political symbol.
Location & History
An essential part of Hanoi’s 000 year history, Hanoi Opera House is without doubt one of the most famous cultural and architectural monuments of Hanoi. Located on the famous August Revolution Square, Hanoi Opera House is just a few steps from Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi Old Quarter and Vietnam History Museum. The Opera house was constructed for ten years from 1901 to 1911 and modeled on Palais Garnier – the older of Paris two opera houses, Hanoi Opera House embraces the European architectural style under the Renaissance period with the Italian-made marble floor, copper chandeliers and exquisite French murals on the ceiling, thus making the place one of Hanoi’s singular architectural landmarks.
In the past, the theater solely hosted performances by Western artists for French officials and wealthy Vietnamese. Nowadays, Hanoi Opera House is one of Hanoi’s cultural centers where art shows, concerts, dance performances and other events usually take place, with the scale ranging from national to international.
The theater is the place where the Vietnamese Orchestra chooses to perform on regular basis, occasionally along with famous artists from all over the world. In the past the place had invited the violinist Hilary Hahn, the cellist Yo-yo Ma, the pianist Wolfgang Glemser or the conductor Gudni Emilsson. The two remarkable classical concerts performed annually at Hanoi Opera House are Toyota Concert and Hennessy Classical Concert, which both are international-scale performances with renowned classical artists.
Moreover, there are a variety of art events ranging from the traditional Vietnamese music to the more trendy pop music by domestic singers with high reputation such as My Linh, Thanh Lam or Hong Nhung. The price also varies depending on the scale of the events, but normally ranging from 100.000 VND to 500.000 VND and up to 2 million VND for a VIP seat, which can be considered reasonable for Western standards.
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If you are interested in learning more about the architecture of the Opera House, and other French colonial buildings in Hanoi, here are a few good reads: