Hanoi Opera House is a great beauty of Hanoi. However, inside this beautiful and peaceful architecture, there are a lot of truths or myths that even Hanoians here, especially the youngsters do not know or remember about.
So what is the feeling of a Foreign Tourist like You go traveling in other countries, to a destination, and you have more knowledge and information than the local ones? It’s Great, right?
Surprising some of Hanoi citizens, or simply the emotion that you are sightseeing in a place you understand it like its own people? Let’s figure out!!
Hanoi Opera House Overview & Map
Like a golden dream of artists, Hanoi Opera House is a highlight of Hanoi French Quarter you should not skip!
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7 surprising truths even locals don’t know about Hanoi Opera House
1. One of 3 Vietnamese Grand Opera built in the 20th century in Southeast Asia
Of all 3 of those, Hanoi Opera House is the biggest one witch 2600 square meters originally. It was not only a typically built opera central, but also a French Architecture drove influence.
It was believed to be inspired by the Opéra Garnier in Paris, but smaller in comparison to sizes and materials were more suitable for local tropical conditions. (Plus, a lot of architectural features were identical to some of the theaters in Southern France).
2. This particular “French Quarter” use to be a big swamp
Hanoi Opera House was chosen to be built in an area at which that time a giant swamp between 2 villages: Tay Luong and Thach Tan. It was also because of this reason that the construction process was so complicated.
35,000 was the number of bamboo poles using to pressure down before pouring 900-centimeter thick concrete cement and hard rock, which confirmed that the foundation can sustain the grand amount of weight from the architecture above.
3. Hanoi Opera House is still a matter of debates amongst French Scholars in the present age
It is 100% correct, 2,000,000 Franc was the total cost building the Hanoi Grand Opera. It was approximately 27 million USD in terms of present value, which is a lot at that time.
There were concerns from French society, press, politicians about why the French government accepts to pay that huge amount of money to built a luxurious architecture at a colonial territory, is it important? Is it necessary? Is it possible secret collusion between the center and local politicians and the constructor that carries the project?
Debates exist until now in some French Scholar Forum. After all, we may never know exactly the truth, we just know that this Grand Opera is known as one of the great symbols of Hanoi!
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4. Hanoi Opera House has witnessed many important historical periods of Vietnam
The quiet peaceful time of Hanoi Opera House ended in 1945, 34 years from its inauguration day.
17th August 1945 was the day that all of Hanoian gathering on the square in front of the Opera to protest against the existing government. Just 1 week after that day, the Communist Party took over the government and held a first military parade just outside this Opera House.
In the national war against the intervene of Outside Forces, Hanoi Opera House was also the place that witnessed couples “temporarily break up”, so the man went on military trucks, fought in the frontline, the women waited for their lover at home.
5. Hanoi Opera House was once “North Vietnam General Assembly House”
Now is the information even the locals don’t know or just forgot!!
Hanoi Opera House actually acted as the Headquarter of the North Viet Congress from the first session in 1946 to the year 1963 when the real National Assembly was finished in Ba Dinh District.
From the beginning time of the Vietnam Democratic Republic in 1945, the national fund was so poor that Ho Chi Minh – the president at that time – once launched the “Golden Week” campaign, which the government “encourage” its citizen to donate their assets to the state, happened also right in Hanoi Opera House!
6. Hanoi Opera House in the present belongs to the national authority, but they have to be “financial autonomy”
Sound so confused, right?
An asset that belongs to the government authority, with its operating employees, also recruited by the state, but it has to take in charge of their revenue – ensure it has profit, enough funds to pay salary for its employees, enough to sustain the vintage condition of the Opera and also has to ensure that they have money to pay back to the state, just like a private company.
Before 2010, nearly all of the culture and arts sectors like Opera House, state art centers, theaters, and public museums are fully funded by the government. The story of Opera House or state’s theaters having shows but no or few audiences occurred many times and people were getting used to it.
However, time passed and the state cannot sustain the huge public debt that these facilities generated, they then issued a law that requires these art and culture centers had to be financial autonomy, but still managed by the government.
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7. Hanoi Opera House in the present are not only the place for Opera anymore
Despite the fact that the name of the architecture nowadays is “Hanoi Opera House”, there is barely an Opera showcase held here.
There are very few Vietnamese or Hanoians in specific nowadays listen to this musical genre. Along with the Financial Autonomy that the Opera House has to sustain, they have to do everything to survive in the market.
This led to the fact that besides the state duty to held specific important event, the Opera in the present ages works as venue rental, with various live shows of local artists, art exhibitions, seminars, meeting ceremonies, the event the outside area is utilized for rents: Coffee shops, parking, etc.
Basic Information (Opening hours, Ticket, etc.) About Opera House in Hanoi
No.01 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
Opening Hours of Hanoi Opera House
If you want to pay a visit inside, you need to have a 400.000-VND ticket. Hanoi Opera House opens from 10:30 AM every Monday and Friday.
Or you can contact us by clicking the button below and let us help you arrange everything!
Hanoi Opera House Show Schedule
You can check the available show schedule of the Opera House in Hanoi in 2020 at the official website: http://hanoioperahouse.org.vn/en
Each performance will have a different price, about 300.000 VND – 1.000.000 VND.
The above facts that we have listed are things even locals don’t know about Hanoi Opera House. If you have discovered something more than that, please feel free to let us know in the comment section below.
Have a wonderful trip!