Cultural Extravaganza: A Night at the A O Show in Saigon Opera House

Delna Shobi

March 13, 2024

4 min read

An O Show is a cultural gem waiting to be explored in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City amidst the busy streets and modern skyscrapers. This performance crosses the boundaries of a typical theatre experience, highlighting the vibrant tapestry of Vietnamese culture woven with contemporary artistic expression. AO Show should be on your bucket list if you’re visiting Vietnam for the first time. A O Show opens a window into the Vietnamese culture. If you are an artistic freak, you can immerse yourself in the heart of Vietnam through this art form. The show takes place in a historical setting, and you can witness the grandeur of the Saigon Opera House, which highlights the background of the show.

History and significance of Saigon Opera House

Saigon Opera House was formerly known as the municipal theatre of Ho Chi Minh City. This complex was once a majestic landmark which used to narrate tee tales of Vietnam’s Colonial past and its rich artistic values. The Opera House was built by French architects between 1887 and 1897. It truly portrayed the rich tradition and grandeur of the French Third Republic’s architectural mastery. During French colonial rule, the opera house was the venue for European cultural events like operas, ballets, and theatrical experiences. After Vietnam’s independence, the opera house also served as the National Assembly building. Opera House was used as a radio station during the Vietnam War. It was after the Vietnam War that the opera house underwent restoration, and later, it was converted into a venue for artistic expression. The architectural mastery of the Opera House should be appreciated all the time! Opera house follows a European Design. With its horseshoe-shaped auditorium and grand facade, the opera house serves as one of the prominent complexes in Vietnam.

Exploring Vietnamese heritage through art

Vietnam has a rich and deep history of art forms, each woven through the soul of the city and the heart of the local people. Exploring through this rich artistic landscape offers a deep exploration into the roots of their history.


Lacquerware : This complex artform is all about applying layers of lacquer into variou surfaces. This depicts the scenes of the daily Vietnamese lifestyle, mythology and religious stories.


Silk Painting: Silk painting has a delicate nature and vibrant history as it is showcased through vibrant colours. This kind of painting mainly depicted landscapes, historical figures and traditional motifs.


Woodblock Prints : Woodblock prints are a kind of unique prints done on wooden blocks which features the bold lines, vivid colors, folklores, historical events and everyday life.


Water Puppetry: This is a captivating show where hand-carved puppets are put together to make them onto the water stage, syncing traditional music and narrating folk tales and historical legends.


Ca Tru Singing: Ca Tru Singing is a soulful art form of singing with a single-stringed instrument called “dan bau”, which expresses emotions and stories through soothing melodies and poetic lyrics.


Royal Court Music : This is a form of Vietnamese Classical music which features a varity of intruments and complex arrangements. Royal Court Music mainly depicts the rich cultural heritage of the Vietnamese courts.

Deepening the Experience: Themes and narratives explored

The show is all about the evolution of Vietnam through the ages, from a rural landscape to a busy metropolis. The nation’s rapid growth and modernization with the essence of Vietnamese traditions are portrayed. Human Connection narratives are also familiar in the play, including the importance of family bonds and communities. For depicting the depth of the plot, acrobatic feats and synchronized movements are also being used. This adds a power of collective effort and thus it celebrates the spirit of collaboration. 

The show also integrates the elements that depict Vietnamese people’s deep connection to nature. According to the Vietnamese culture, bamboo is often considered a symbol of growth and power. Thus, bamboo is integral to acrobatics, reflecting the harmonious relationship between man and nature. The show also points out the cycle of life in different ways in a chronological flow. The transition from the innocence of childhood to the struggles and victories of adulthood is being represented.

Expressing appreciation for the A O Show

As the curtain falls, i hope you all had a lasting impression about the A O Show. This show is not merely about a performance, but it depicts the real life and values of the rich landscapes, cultural tapestry and  Vietnamese people itself. So if youre someone who loves to investigate the tales of the historic places, this is your token! While after experiencing the AO Show and stepping out the majestic saigon opera house, im sure you will be surprised! The show itself contributes a visual treat for your eyes and gaves you a vibrant energy! There you can excavate deeper into the history of Saigon and more.


Is there a dress code for Saigon Opera House?

Saigon Opera House has no dress code, but most visitors prefer wearing smart casuals.


What is the meaning of the AO show?

AO Show is one of the most celebrated shows in Vietnam. AO means Village and City in Làng Phố.

How many seats are there in the Saigon Opera House?


Who built the Saigon Opera House?

French architect Eugene Ferret created the Saigon Opera House in 1898, emulating the “flamboyant” architectural style of the French Third Republic.


What architectural style does the Opera House feature?

It reflects the flamboyant style of the French Third Republic, incorporating European influences with a touch of Eastern flair.


What shows are typically held at the Opera House?

The Opera House hosts various performances, including opera, ballet, contemporary dance, orchestral concerts, and even local cultural shows.

Delna Shobi

Weaving worlds with words, where imagination blooms and stories take flight.

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