Opera's national status defended
THE National Opera House will have a packed line-up of performers and events in 2016, befitting its status as the home of opera in Ireland.
The opera house on High Street was named as Ireland's only National Opera House in October 2014. National Opera House spokesperson Elizabeth Rose-Browne said the fact that celebrated English tenor Russell Watson is only performing in the National Opera House (this Saturday) and Cork Opera House on his tour, shows the status the venue has among performers and promoters.
Among other acts to play at the venue shortly are the National Symphony Orchestra and Phil Coulter, while the Barber of Seville is also lined up for Spring, on April 16. Ms Rose-Browne said: 'Because of the quality of the venue, people will travel here from around the country for specific events. Russell Watson is only in Cork and with us. That is as much a statement from the promoters as anyone else. We have a great local and regional audience built up and we're trying to build it up more and more.'
Ms Rose-Browne said management at the National Opera House have major plans going forward.
'You always have a plan and ambitions. You have to build these up steadily and ensure you have the audience. It's not only performances. We had the Carlow IT conferring recently and we have conferences and events also throughout the year.'
Ms Browne said an article in the Irish Times questioning the designation of National Opera House to the Wexford venue has not led to any feedback.
'There were no letters to the editor in support of the argument. People are absolutely entitled to their opinion but it's business as usual with us and we have full houses and a lot of events coming up.'
On the closure of the top floor café, which was a draw to members of the public into the venue on a daily basis and was previously operated by the Ferrycarrig Hotel and latterly by Stable Diet, Ms Rose-Browne said the closure occurred with short notice in August, adding that the cafe - with its impressive view - reopened for the opera festival with the Olive Tree taking over.
She said: 'We are actively looking for someone to come in.'