In April 2002 an International Architectural Competition attracted Coop Himmelb(l)au, Rem Koolhaas andZaha Hadid - each producing detailed designs. In November 2002, Zaha Hadid’s “double pebble” was announced the winner and the groundbreaking ceremony was held early in 2005.
The theatre has become the biggest performing centre in southern China and is one of the three biggest theatres in the nation alongside Beijing’s National Grand Theatre and Shanghai’s Shanghai Grand Theatre. May 2010 saw American filmmaker Shahar Stroh direct the premiere production of the opera house: Puccini’s opera Turandot which had in previous years been a controversial opera in China.
The project cost 1.38 billion yuan (approx. US$200 million).