The Opera house Hanoi was built between 1901 and 1911 by two architects Harlay and Broyer,  which bears many historical marks and located in the heart of Hanoi capital is the venue of the major art performances of many famous musicians and artists in Vietnam. In here, you can contemplate the magnificent architecture of the Hanoi Opera House or buy a ticket to enjoy the most frequently performed shows to see the magnificent view of the theatre with our own eyes.

Opera house Hanoi - Vietnam

Opera house Hanoi – Vietnam

1. The Process of Construction of Opera house Hanoi

The Opera House Hanoi was based on the model of the Paris Opera architecture, but smaller, the materials used were changed to be able to suitable for local economic and climatic conditions, and in many colors, The architecture of the Theater in Southern France. The layout of the room, the architectural horseshoe for the large room, the entrance, the main staircase and the arrangement of theatrical spaces of Opera House Hanoi are like the theatres in Europe at the beginning of the century XX.


The architect’s design of Opera house Hanoi – Vietnam 01.

The former Grand Building land was a marsh belonging to the two villages “Thach Tan and Tay Luong”, Tho Xuong District. In 1899 the city council held a meeting Under the orders of the chairmanship of Richard ( the Hanoi Ambassador proposed to build the theatre). The designer of the building’s architecture was Harlay and Broyer. This design had to be modified by many architects’ ideas. The project was started on June 7, 1901, under the technical supervision of urban inspector Harlay – one of the two designers.


The architect’s design of Opera house Hanoi – Vietnam 02.

Leveling was very hard. Every day there were 300 workers, 35,000 bamboo piles were set with 90 cm thick concrete blocks. The project must use more than 12000m3 of material, nearly 600 tons of cast iron. The building occupies an area of 2600m2, the length of the building is 87m, the width is 30m, the highest point of the building compared to the road surface is 34m.

the front of Opera house Hanoi - Vietnam in The Past.

The Front of Opera house Hanoi – Vietnam in The Past.

The front of the building is very magnificent, there are many steps overlooking the large square (Now called Revolution Square in August), The steps are in front of the Opera House used to welcome the cars of the colonial officials to come and see.

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2. The Architecture of Opera House Hanoi.

Designers searched the ancient Greek architecture of Coranhtơ, which combined with the castle architecture of Tuylory and the Paris Opera to create a unique architecture.

The Architecture of Opera House Hanoi

The Architecture of Opera House Hanoi.

Inside the building was a large stage and a main auditorium with an area of 24x24m, that day accommodated 870 seats, leather seats and some velvet seats.Inside the building was a large stage and a main auditorium with an area of 24x24m, that day accommodated 870 seats, leather seats and some velvet seats. The middle floor has many small rooms for the spectators with their own tickets. The staircase to the second floor is a large main hall. Extra steps and corridors on both sides.

inside the opera house hanoi in the past

Inside The Opera House Hanoi in The Past.

Behind the building is a management room, there are 18 chambers for makeup artists, two practice rooms, a library and meeting rooms. The front of the second floor is a very beautiful mirror room. The cost of building construction at that time was 2,000,000 francs. The building was used as a place to perform traditional forms such as opera, chamber music, drama … for the French upper class and a few wealthy Vietnamese. The schedule had four times on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday each week at that time.

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3. The Historical Significance of Opera House Hanoi.

Hanoi Opera House has a great value in terms of history, architecture and value use. It is a historical witness of the cultural and social development of Hanoi and Vietnam during the French colonial period, a relic of a period of architectural development in Vietnam at the end of the nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Hanoi Opera House and its square were the places of great historical events associated with the August Revolution and the early years of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

The Golden Week event in 1945

The Golden Week event in 1945.

– On August 17, 1945, the Viet Minh Front took place a march at the Hanoi Opera house Square.

– On August 29, 1945, the Viet Bac Liberation Army arrived in Hanoi introduce at the Hanoi Opera House Square.

– On September 16, 1945, The Golden Week event took place at the building’s square.

– On Early October 1945, the day of Vietnamese southern resistance was held at the building’s square.

– On March 5, 1945, the National Congress of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was taken place for the first time at the Hanoi Opera House.

– On September 2, 1946, the first year anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was celebrated and it was also the day when Ho Chi Minh first set foot in the Hanoi Opera House.

Hanoi Opera House has witnessed the first moments of peace in Vietnam, and it is a witness to the revolution of Hanoi Capital. Since then the Opera House Hanoi has always been the centre of important meetings, conferences, and high artistic performances by national and international art groups.

Opera house Hanoi - Hanoi Free Tours By Foot

Opera house Hanoi.

Over 80 years of use, the building has been downgraded a lot. The indoor space: such as decor, materials, colours, facilities to the important technical equipment for the building are increasingly old and become old-fashioned, no longer suitable to the standards of the International performance.

Outside of the building, there are more and more works appear that unsuitable with the architecture of the Opera house Hanoi. therefor in 1994, the Hanoi Opera House was approved by the Vietnamese government for the restoration and upgrading. Renovation work was started in 1995 and completed in 1997. After Renovation, The building has been upgraded and renovated to be wider and more adequate and become more worthy as a cultural centre not only in Hanoi and the whole country but also in Southeast Asia.

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