Hanoi Opera House: A symphony of the magnificence
In the heart of Hanoi, where an intersection meets five main city roads, there stands a huge building called Opera House. The total area of Opera House is 2600 square meters: 87 meters length and 30 meters with and 34 meters above the ground, following the French neo-classical design. Standing with times over 100 years, it has become a witness of Hanoi’s history.
Guidance to visit Opera House
Come on during the day to admire the typical colonial architecture of the theater. Walk along the vast garden courtyard in front of the theater to see from every corner of the grand, grandiose architectural building with these alternate lines of Gothic and neoclassical architecture.
Unfortunately, guests can only enter the theater when buying tickets for a certain show. In the early time when Opera was officially opened, they only played classical music such as Opera or Drama four times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Today, music lovers have more choices when coming to the Opera House. From Carmen, Secret Garden or Hamlet plays to Swan Lake ballet.
In addition, contemporary music, symphonic music or Vietnamese plays can give you relaxing moments after hard work on weekends.
Hanoi Opera House is located in Thang Tam square. It is easy to find it right on bustling Trang Tien street. There is no entrance ticket to the theater and guests can only enter the theater when buying tickets for performances held here.
Address: No 1 Trang Tien, Phan Chu Trinh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.
Throwback in times
Two architects Harlay and Broyer are designers of the Project. The design was under much modification due to comments of many other architects.
Hanoi Opera House was built by the French government, started in 1901 and completed after 10 years. It is designed by 2 French architects V. Harley and Broyer, resembling the Opéra Garnier de Paris.
Why French started to construct Opera House?
Initially, Opera House was a wetland area belonging to two villages Thach Tan and Tay Luong. In 1899, the city council held a meeting chaired by Richard – a special envoy of Hanoi, who proposed to build the Theater.
It was built to satisfy the entertaining purpose. The French, they want a place for Western artists to perform for French colonialists. Also, Vietnamese elites were allowed to attend these performances with the condition that they had to be well-dressed and paid money for tickets.
The Opera House has a very important historical and architectural value in the cultural life of Hanoian. In the first phase after Independence Day, the theater was the venue for the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Meanwhile, the area around the theater used to be fierce battlefields between Viet Minh and French and Japanese troops.
The interior design of Hanoi Opera amazes visitors with T-shape white marble staircase right in the centre decorated with red carpet centered, crystal chandeliers, large wall mirrors, Corinthian columns and colorful dome by colorful murals and reliefs.
The auditorium is 24 x 24 meters in size with three sitting floors including 589 velvet chairs. The second and third floors are reserved for separate box seats. The building also has a meeting room called ‘Mirror Room’, 18 dressing rooms, two rooms for voice training and a library at the back.
In 1995, the building was restored to prepare for the La Francophonie summit in 1997, causing the government to pay nearly 14 million US dollars.