English National Opera has unveiled a new working partnership with Greater Manchester to develop a new home for the opera company.

The partnership will see ENO and Greater Manchester work together on plans to bring the company’s globally renowned cultural offer to a main base in the city-region by 2029.

The news follows a rigorous assessment process to decide on the new city base. In the announcement, ENO says it was “excited by the close strategic alignment of Greater Manchester’s values and vision with its own, the potential opportunities to collaborate with the region’s vibrant arts ecology, and the chance to inspire and create work with and for new audiences and communities in Greater Manchester.”

This emerging shared vision with partners in Greater Manchester will focus on the development of new innovations in opera, with ambitious creative collaborations in performance, public health and the development of local talent, in partnership with a range of venues and organisations across the city-region. 

This announcement follows an agreement reached with Arts Council England in July in which £24m was awarded to ENO to enable the organisation to develop an artistic programme in a new base outside of London during the 2024-26 period.

Following a transition to this new business model over the next two years, ENO will be firmly established within Greater Manchester by 2029, delivering performances, wellbeing and learning activity with multiple partners and venues across the city-region, whilst continuing its substantial opera season every year at its London home, the London Coliseum.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The ENO is one of the most exciting cultural institutions in the country, and we’re immensely proud to be able to bring them to a new home here in Greater Manchester.

“We’ve worked closely with them to set out a shared vision for a future in our city-region, where they can continue making groundbreaking opera, foster new collaborations with artists across the North, and bring their award-winning learning and wellbeing programmes to communities here.

“Greater Manchester’s world-renowned history of radical art, activism, and affecting change, and the cultural renaissance taking place across our towns and cities, makes it the ideal home for the ENO. We can’t wait to welcome them and see where this new partnership takes us.”

Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Tue 5 Dec 2023