'We are determined to overcome this': Cork Opera House positive despite challenges of Covid 

'We are determined to overcome this': Cork Opera House positive despite challenges of Covid 

Stepping out on Lavitts Quay, Cork, is Frank Mackey who plays the lead roll in the Cork Opera House production of ‘Nanny Nellie’s Panto Telly’ which is online from the 22nd to the 31st of December. Picture: Dan Linehan

CORK Opera House has posted positive results in 2020 despite the pandemic but is bracing itself for an “extremely challenging” few years because of its impact.

The company has announced a net profit of €60,284 for the financial year ending March 31, 2020. 

However, CEO of Cork Opera House, Eibhlín Gleeson, said: “This is an unprecedented situation for Cork Opera House and for the wider arts and entertainment sector. The lengthy closure brought on by Covid-19 presents enormous challenges for our business and our staff. The very foundation of our business is based on bringing people together on our stage and into our auditorium.”

However, she said the company were adjusting to deal with the current restrictions.

“We have developed our skills in the area of online streaming to ensure that we can continue to deliver on our mission,” she said. “While we anticipate difficult times ahead, we are determined to overcome this too.”

Ambitious goals 

The profits were attributed to a strong artistic programme which attracted 200,000 patrons in the year to March 31. 

“We set ourselves a number of ambitious artistic goals this year and I am proud of the work we have produced both in-house and in collaboration with art makers in our sector,” Ms Gleeson said.

“Taking pride of place is our Cork Opera House Concert Orchestra which has grown from strength to strength since its inception five years ago. Cork Opera House had to close its doors on the 12th of March shortly before our year-end with the loss of a number of well subscribed shows in that month,” Board chairman Tim Healy said. “In addition, we had to reschedule or cancel many performances including our musical, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, just six weeks short of rehearsals commencing. The combination of closing our doors and writing off costs for shows which had to be cancelled or rescheduled, resulted in Cork Opera House generating a reduced surplus as compared to recent years.

“We are however fortunate that the company’s performance over the last number of years put us in a much better position to weather the challenge the pandemic posed at the end of this financial period.”

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