National Opera House

About the House

The state-of-the-art building was opened in 2008  as a fitting home for the award-winning Wexford Festival Opera, as well as being built as an all-year-round multi-disciplinary performance art-form theatre. It has recently been granted further official recognition by being designated Ireland's National Opera House by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, announced at the start of the 63rd Wexford Festival Opera, in October of 2014, by the Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys.

The designation means Ireland now takes its place among Europe’s great nations with its own specific opera house and deservedly recognises the State’s significant investment in the creation of what has been internationally acclaimed as ‘the best small opera house in the world’.

Virtual Tour

Highlights

  • A state-of-the-art auditorium tactfully inserted into a dense, historic urban plan; a “secret gem” tucked away behind a reinstated street-front.

  • All walnut-lined auditorium, calling to mind the interior of a stringed instrument.

  • Lighting bridges within the room, precision-crafted to be shown off, like the bridges of a stringed instrument.

  • Stage and forestage layout and technology allow the presentation of six different performances in a three day cycle.

  • Excellent sight-lines, optimised for performance on the forestage, in accordance with the Wexford Festival Opera tradition.

  • Horseshoe-shaped balconies, where the audiences in the upper levels are brought into better contact with the stage, enhance the performance experience for audiences and performers alike. This layout, which was largely abandoned in 20th Century design, enhances the atmosphere by populating the side walls of the auditorium, making the audience more ‘visible’ to itself.

  • The operational flexibility given by the orchestra pit lifts, and the stage and backstage facilities, together with the horse shoe-shaped balconies, arguably qualify National Opera House as Ireland’s first fully-specified purpose-built opera house.

Bars

Why not relax with a pre-performance and interval drink in one of the three National Opera House bars, serving a range of wines, spirits, champagnes and minerals, as well as tea, coffee and refreshments. Pre-order your interval drinks at any of our bars prior to the performance to save time and enjoy your interval refreshments without rushing.

VIP Rooms

VIP rooms are available for hire during any National Opera House performance for private hospitality events. Enjoy your own private interval reception in the National Opera House ‘Founders’ Room, with full bar facilities. Open bar facilities can be arranged with settlement post performance for any group of 10 +. For more information on our VIP rooms call Aisling White on +353 53 912 63526 or email aisling@nationaloperahouse.ie