Opera productions in Cork

 

Madam, - I wish to offer my congratulations on recent articles concerning the various artistic disciplines in Ireland. Each piece was well researched and the comments were intelligent, forthcoming and accurate. All contributors were agreed that there is a serious financial shortfall at the present time.

It is not my intention in this letter to point a finger in the direction of any funding body. However, I do feel that the economic as well as cultural importance of the arts should be highlighted. A simple fact: even at the height of the British motor industry's golden era some years ago, there were yet more people employed in the arts. In Ireland today the arts employs a large portion of our workforce and it is essential that they are rescued from the scrapheap of unemployment.

Congratulations are particularly due to Michael Dervan for his article on music (March 4th). However, he did state that Ireland has "neither an opera house nor a national opera company".

Might I remind him that in Cork we have the only purpose-built opera house in the 26 counties? Opera is alive and well in Cork. In recent years the Cork Opera House has hosted productions by Opera & Ballet International (Aida, Nabucco, Tosca, La Boheme etc.) and Opera Cork (Madame Butterfly, Die Fliedermaus etc.), among many others. This month we will be hosting Opera International, who will be presenting Carmen and La Bohème.

We have recently founded a new opera company called Opera 2005 and are planning a most exciting programme. This will focus particularly on the education of the young, as well on as making opera more accessible and intelligible. So opera is not only an integral part of Cork's cultural life, it is an ever-evolving and dynamic entity within the city. - Yours, etc.,

CHARLIE HENNESSY,

Chairman, Cork Opera House,

Emmet Place,

Cork.