Saturday 25 November 2017

Showbands must go on as iconic venue re-opens

David Forsythe

THE re-opening of an iconic opera house, which closed because of funding difficulties, is set to mark a successful weekend for arts fans.

Cork Opera House re-opens on the same weekend as another successful Culture Night took place. But staff at the Leeside institution have been warned about pay cuts and redundancies after this summer's funding crisis.

The iconic venue underwent a complete refurbishment last year, but was forced to close on July 4 amid much controversy.

The chairman of the Opera House's board, Damian Wallace, said: "We've had to have a good look at how things are done -- like any business in that position would.

"We will have to cut costs and discussions are under way with staff about cutting pay and there will be some redundancies.

"On the other side, we also have to draw in more revenue and we aim to do that by offering more shows and performances that the people of Cork and visitors alike want to see."

Mr Wallace said that the board had every intention of running a full programme next year.

The first show at the reopened venue is the Showband Nostalgia Show, starring Brendan Bowyer, tomorrow evening.

An estimated 20,000 people visited more than 200 Culture Night events hosted in more than 60 venues across the city last night.

Event co-ordinator Trish Murphy said yesterday: "Last year we had a huge response from the public and we think this year will have been just as popular."

Events were held throughout the day at theatres, galleries, historic houses and churches across the city -- encompassing a huge range of activities from lectures, exhibitions and discussions to street theatre, cinema and music.

Irish Independent

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