THE THREE galleries â€“ National Gallery, Imma and Crawford â€“ will now not be amalgamated, the Minister for Arts, Martin Cullen, has decided, but the National Gallery and Crawford will merge, while Imma remains a stand-alone institution. The Abbey looks very likely to be relocated to the GPO by 2016, and the current feasibility study sounds like a formality. Lastly, the decision on how a new national opera company in Dublin will be established in 2010 will be taken within three months.
He is emphatic that a national opera company based in Dublin will be set up in 2010. â€œI always had this idea about a national company, but I never saw Wexford as the home for it, albeit it has a fabulous theatre. Wexford Opera has created an international brand, and it could and should do more with that brand.â€ But, he says, â€œI donâ€™t think a national opera company in any country would work outside its capitalâ€, and he feels the Wexford festival would get lost in the larger opera company. Parallel with Wexford, a new opera company will emerge from Opera Ireland and Opera Touring Company, and he wants to finalise details and structures on how this will work within three months. â€œThis would be driven from the Department, working with the Arts Council and the two opera companies.â€
Sounds good to me! Couldn't agree more that, whilst Wexford has a stunning opera house, Dublin is where such a company should be based.
Hopefully we'll see a new opera house to go with it? Something in the docklands? Something tailored to opera, with subtitle screens?