Watching a performing arts show in Vietnamese is one of the best ways to experience its tradition and culture. There are a wide variety of shows, from water puppets to aerial dance. Chances are high that if you’re in a major city, you’ll be able to find an opera house or theatre for an amazing performance.
Opera Houses and Theatres in Vietnam
Big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City boast historic opera houses that create an unmatched ambiance for performing arts. In addition, there are an array of theatres and other performing arts venues to choose from. Lune Productions hosts their famous shows in Saigon, Hanoi and Hoi An.
Guide to Performing Arts Venues in Vietnam
Aside from its stunning scenery, Vietnam has a diverse and vibrant culture with various performing arts to explore. Singing, opera, dancing, theatrical drama, music, and water puppetry are just some of the intriguing acts that you can catch on your next trip to the country.
Venues for these types of art are found all throughout Vietnam, but here are some of the most popular and active ones.
Opera Houses and Theaters
Hanoi Opera House – Built in 1911 by the French, the Hanoi Opera House is a 600-seat building that has hosted several musicians, actors, and dancers over the last century. It’s also one of three opera houses that the French constructed during their reign. Today, it is a great place to find an orchestra concert, bamboo cirque, contemporary dance, government event, or other cultural performances.
Lune Production Venues – Lune Production is a company that hosts a number of different performing arts venues throughout the country. Their centers are found in three cities: Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City, and Hanoi, and they host a variety of events in different genres. Tickets to shows can be purchased off the Lune Production website, where their schedule for future events is posted.
Saigon Opera House – Built in 1897, the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House was designed and constructed by French architect Eugene Ferret. The 500-seat building was restored in 1975 to be a theater again after serving as a government building for so many years, and in 1995 it was renovated once again. Today, it hosts various ticketed events and performing art presentations ranging from orchestra shows and contemporary dance to entertaining cultural performances.
Hoa Binh Theater – Hoa Binh Theater is the largest theater in Ho Chi Minh City, being able to seat 2,000 spectators with a view of the 22-meter revolved stage. It was built in 1985 but has a reputation for being cozy, comfortable, and relaxing to view an event.
Trung Vuong Theater – Situated in the center of Da Nang, the Trung Vuong Theater seats 1,133 people on its upper and lower floors. The large venue is airy and has a contemporary design, making it a comfortable place to watch music, dance, conferences, youth festivals, and more. Based at the junction of three major streets in town, this theater plays a significant role in the culture of Da Nang.
It isn’t too difficult to find street performers in Vietnam. Many times they can be seen in the night markets, pedestrian streets, and the heart of the big cities. They are also often found in the evenings by some of the famous bodies of water, like Hoan Kiem Lake.
Entertainers like to demonstrate their skills like singing, dancing, and classic Vietnamese arts. Another popular place to catch a live show is on Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City, a pedestrian walkway that comes alive at night.
Water Puppet Theaters
Water puppetry is a type of performance native to Vietnam and dates as far back as the 11th century. It’s said to have originated in northern Vietnam near the Red River Delta, where floods would happen, and villagers would create entertainment by standing in waist-high water with puppets. These days, water puppet theaters are all over Vietnam.
Thang Long Water Puppet Theater – Located in the heart of Hanoi, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is one of the most famous of its kind. This is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions and is quite busy from October to April, so reservations in advance are recommended. Nowadays, the theater has modern features and usually puts on around 17 short skits in a one-hour show. Since the puppets are not too big, arriving early and sitting near the front is recommended.
Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater – Set in Ho Chi Min City, the Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater is a lively place to learn more about Vietnamese culture on your next vacation. Shows occur daily at the theater based in Tao Dan Park, and guests are entertained with skits put on by old-fashioned puppets and music. Even though the performance is entirely in Vietnamese, the gestures made by the puppets are easy enough to understand.
Seeing a performance in Vietnam is an excellent way to experience the culture from a different point of view. Whether you attend an opera show, water puppet show, or classical orchestra concert, the energetic aspects of Vietnamese culture are sure to make an impact on your trip.