Hanoi Opera House is the largest theatre in Vietnam. Built by the French in 1911, and renovated in the late 1990s, it has similar architectural style of the Opera House in France. (It was said that due to being built nearly 300 years after the Paris Opera House, Hanoi Opera House avoids superfluous architectural details, which make it more magnificent and charming).
Perhaps: As being built three centuries after the Paris Opera House, Hanoi Opera House’s aesthetically is said to be even more magnificent and appealing. The foundations of the theatre were built on a big pond, adjacent to the city gate of Tay Long of the ancient Thang Long Capital, which causes many difficulties in constructing. Before building a concrete foundation, nearly one meter thick, the pond was emptied and dredged, then 30,000 hard bamboo stakes were situated on its bed. The theatre manifests unique French architecture and typical Gothic and Mosaic characters reflected on the door domes and the glassed room. The facade is a graceful blend of French neo-classical design with pillars, shuttered windows, wrought iron balconies overlooking the city center and tiles friezes. The interior consist of a large stage and a main audience room of 24m in length and 24m in width, along with many small rooms for VIP audience. The middle staircase leads to a large Hall on the second floor. The sub-staircase and corridors are placed in both sides.
Hanoi Opera House possesses special history and architectural value. It was a historical evidence of Vietnamese social and cultural development under French rule, a vestige for an architectural development stage dating back to the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries in Vietnam. The theatre hosted many significant historical events associated to the August Revolution and the early years of Vietnam Democratic Republic.
Nowadays, the 900-seat opera house is one of Hanoi’s cultural centers where art shows, cultural activities and other international events usually take place. It is a favorite place for those who love theatrical performance and classic art of symphonies, opera, opera, ballet.