Cork Opera House has reduced its financial deficit from €850,000 to €180,000 in the last year.
More than 40,000 new patrons have also attended events at the Opera House since its new chief executive officer Mary Hickson was appointed in October 2010, according to the theatre’s most recent records.
The CEO, who took over the helm of the loss-making venue as cost-cutting and restructuring measures were being implemented, says the 1,000-seat theatre is a “massive ship to turn” but that funding from Cork City Council and other bodies was keeping it afloat.
The Opera House received a €250,000 interest-free loan from the city council in September 2010 on top of a €1 million loan issued six months earlier.
Ms Hickson said she felt confident the venue was now on target to start repaying the loan on time next year.
The CEO — who worked in the Opera House bar during her student days at UCC — said: “If it wasn’t for the city council we literally wouldn’t be open, but the entire Cork community came on board to help us through a very difficult period. We’re on target to get back into profit making and we’re very much becoming an integral part of the city.
“The venue’s finances are key but they’re not the only barometer of our success. My long-term objective is to engage with the city and ensure Cork gains an international reputation for initiating big music projects through the Opera House.”