Harold Johnston
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Harold Johnston


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This recording was compiled in Harold Johnston’s home, which is itself a museum of memorabilia associated with the theatrical movement in Cork. He talks about his own background – he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1943, and joined Hall and Green’s (in the grain business) on the quays, where later Nat Ross (removal services) operated. His total commitment to the Cork Opera House down through the years is quite evident in this recording. He recalls the many performances at the old Opera House, before it burnt down on December 12 1955. It is wonderful to hear his clear recollections of the twice-nightly performances in the old days, with actors and actresses such as Jimmy O’Dea and Maureen Potter and in later years, Jack Cruise and Douglas Fairbanks. He maintains that it was extraordinary that a resident orchestra would play every night in the pit at the old Opera House. He became Chairman of the Opera House after the tenure of Bill Twomey and when he retired, the late Charlie Hennessy took his position, and continued to make a great success of the Opera House during his time. Harold reminisces while browsing through some of his scrapbooks, talking about the highs and lows of the Opera House, and the magnificent work done in the collection of funds to build the present Opera House.

Additional information



Audio series:

Cork city, first series


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

59.11 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:


Recorded by:

Maurice O’Keeffe