Cork Opera House is a theatre and opera house in Cork in the Republic of Ireland. It was originally built in 1855, although its existence has not been continuous; having survived the burning of much of Cork by British forces in reprisal for an ambush of a military convoy in 1920 by Irish rebels, the Opera House nevertheless was burned down in its centenary year 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.
More recently, in 2003, large scale renovation works were completed on both the facade of the building and the surrounding Emmet Square. Built, according to its original architect Sir John Benson, for the "promotion of science, literature and the fine arts, and the diffusion of architectural knowledge," the Opera House has always housed far more than just Opera. Performances of all types are a part of its history and current repertoire, and locals find both its range and lack of affiliation with multinationals such as Ticketmaster make a refreshing change.
Emmet place is a 'hang-out' area for teenagers in Cork especially skaters and rockers and is referred to as 'The Op'. The Half Moon Theatre lies to the rear of the Opera House.