Cork Opera House

Cork Opera House is a theatre and opera house in Cork in the Republic of Ireland.

Cork Opera House
Cork Opera House in 2017.
Former namesAthenaeum (1855-1875)
The Munster Hall (1875-1877)[1]
AddressEmmett Place
Capacity1,000 (Main Auditorium)[2]
100 seated or 285 standing (Half Moon Theatre) [3]
Years active1855-
ArchitectScott Tallon Walker (1963 Building)
Murray Ó Laoire (2000 Facade)

History (1855-1963)

It was originally built in 1855, and was built on a template that the architect had used for the exhibition buildings at the Irish Industrial Exhibition.[4] Since then it survived the burning of much of Cork by British forces in 1920. However, the Opera House was burned down in its centenary year (1955) by a combination of old wiring and wooden materials. Although Cork had until then boasted the presence of a proper theatre in some form for over 250 years, it was not until 1963 that the Opera House was rebuilt fully and opened.

Renovation (2003)

In 2003, large scale renovation works were completed on both the facade of the building and the surrounding Emmett Place. Built, according to its original architect Sir John Benson,[5] for the "promotion of science, literature and the fine arts, and the diffusion of architectural knowledge," the Opera House has always housed more than just Opera. Performances of all types are a part of its history and current repertoire.

Emmett Place is linked to St Patrick's Street via Opera Lane, which replaced the former Faulkner's Lane, allowing for easier access to the Opera House. A number of cafés and restaurants line Emmett Place, including Costa and Starbucks. The Half Moon Theatre lies to the rear of the Opera House.


  1. "Athenaeum / Opera House". Cork City Libraries. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  2. "Venue seating plans - Cork - Cork Opera House". Euroticket. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  3. "Halfmoon Venue Information". Archived from the original on 8 October 2013.
  4. "Architecture of Cork City - Opera House". Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. "1855 - Cork Opera House (The Athenaeum), Cork". Archiseek. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

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