Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of Cork Opera House yesterday (Wednesday 6th September 2012), Chairman Damian Wallace stated that the recent financial year had been challenging, and the tough economic environment had impacted on the Opera House; but despite general economic difficulties Cork Opera House had done well in relative terms, and reduced its deficit from €825,282 in year ending 31st March 2011 to €180,070 in year ending 31st March 2012.
He went on to say that the success of big shows such as *The Sound of Music*had helped improve their financial situation and such successes were vital to ensure that the financial commitments of Cork Opera House were met. The changing demands of the business has required innovation and fresh thinking and the contribution of the Board of Directors has been very significant in the development and implementation of the strategic plan for Cork Opera House. While the Board and management has reacted to the current difficult environment through the introduction of new initiatives across programming and marketing, Mr Wallace said: “It is vital however that our key stakeholders maintain their financial support for the theatre, as the current success can only be built on with continued financial support.”****
Programming has seen the most significant changes in recent times, with the introduction of broader and more diverse streams of programming so as to increase audience reach and interest, ranging from mainstream to very niche shows, with 133,512 people attending 386 performances in the previous year, Mr Wallace said “Our ongoing approach to programming is to present an appropriate mix between artistic and commercial work, catering for the diverse and varied tastes of our audience. The fact that *The Script* play Cork Opera House this week is a hugely significant statement of how far we have come in a short space of time.”