Saturday night, after our meal at Market Lane Restaurant, we followed Katherine (Ekaterinburg) into the cold and rain. Winding across town, we arrived outside Cork Opera House!
I wasn't quite sure why we'd come here at first-it was a bit late for watching a performance! but Katherine had realised that this would be a good place to enjoy a drink and chat, while enjoying the views from the large windows. Before going into the Opera House, Katherine pointed out the adjacent building - The Crawford Art Gallery, which is noted for its sculptures.
It was quite busy in the Opera House, (The annual Corona Cork Film Festival was being held here (12th - 19th October 2008), but we managed to put claim to a corner, to enjoy a drink - (I had a pint of Beamish), a chat, and to take some pics with the VT flag.
The Opera House is undergoing a massive renovation programme. It is the only purpose built Opera House in Ireland. Its auditorium has seats for 1,000, and an orchestra pit for upto 70 musicians
The stage is one of the largest in Ireland. It measures 12 x 10 meters with over 235 lights on the stage and an 60 foot fly tower, which can accommodate up to 28 scenes changes in a performance!
There has been a theatre on the present site of the Cork Opera House since 1855. This theatre, designed by Sir John Benson for the 1852 National Exhibition for Ireland, was moved stone by stone to Nelson Square, where the old Custom Building had stood. It was named The Athenaeum, later being renamed The Munster Hall. In 1955 it was destroyed in a fire.
A modern 1,000 seat Opera House, designed by Scott Tallon Walker was constructed on the same site, in the renamed Emmet Place.
Plans to bring the Opera House into the 21st Century started in 1993, with Murray O'Laoire Associates winning the multi million pound contract.
For more info about the History of Cork Opera House please CLICK HERE
This little opera house is very neat and seems rather new. We went to a concert here during the jazz festival. Acoustics were pretty decent and it has a nice up close feel to it. There is a bar on the second floor that opens before the show so the guys don't get too bored. Ha..ha..
Cork Opera House plays host to concerts, plays, musicals, ballet and the annual Cork Film and Jazz festivals. Tickets are for sale in the lobby. Too bad the place looks like a giant concrete shoebox! The picture shows recent efforts to give the place a facelift - though not too great judging from the giant Toyota sign on top!