The National Theater and Concert Hall are found in Liberty Square where the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall is also located. The theater and the concert hall are similar in appearance and are situated across each other some distance away from the memorial hall. A pride of Taiwan, these two buildings are the first major facilities in Asia that were built for the performing arts.
The idea to construct the twin structures was conceived in 1975 after the death of former political leader Chiang Kai-shek. They were to be built on the same grounds as the memorial hall. Ho-Mou Architect Firm designed the buildings while GNH and Philips took care of the stage design, sounds, and lighting. Construction of the buildings cost NT$7 billion.
The National Theater and Concert Hall were designed to have the appearance of a traditional Chinese palace. They feature Chinese style architecture having gold-colored roofs with characteristic sweeping slopes. The roofs are supported by red pillars.
Although the buildings have a very traditional look, on the inside, their facilities are ultramodern. The halls are designed in such a way that the audience will be able to hear sounds coming from the stage even if microphones are not used. Furthermore, each of the almost 4,000 seats can absorb outside noise so that the sound quality inside the halls is improved. The seats also have convenient individual air-conditioning controls to allow the audience to adjust air-conditioning in the leg area according to their preference. Such ingeniously designed seats cost NT$10,000 each.
The construction of the buildings was finished on September 20, 1987, and The National Theater and Concert Hall were officially opened on October 31 of the same year. The year 1987 was special for the Taiwanese because it was the time when martial law was lifted. The opening of the National Theater and Concert Hall just a few months after this historical event helped mark an important transition in Taiwan’s history that brought a new sense of hope to the people of Taiwan. The buildings’ completion also ushered the nation into a new age of the performing arts.
Aside from the main hall, the National Concert Hall has a smaller Recital Hall where the audience can enjoy a more intimate performance setting. Likewise, the National Theater also has a smaller room aside from the main hall. It is called Experimental Theater. Both buildings are equipped with moving multilevel stages. The stage of the National Theater can be made to rotate a full 360 degrees.
These two venues have proudly hosted performances from famous artists like the Three Tenors, Marcel Marceau, the New York Philharmonic, the Australian Ballet Company, Tatiana Nikolayeva, and the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra.
If you want to know the schedule of performances in the National Theater and Concert Hall, you can visit their website. Tickets can be bought online. If you simply wish to visit the place, you can book an individual or a group tour, which is available on days when there is no scheduled performance. You can reach the Liberty Square by taking the MRT and going down at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall Station.