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The English National Opera set for Manchester move

In a cultural coup, English National Opera (ENO) has chosen Manchester as its new home, heralding a harmonious partnership set to redefine the region's artistic landscape.

In a significant move for both the English National Opera (ENO) and Manchester, the renowned opera company has officially announced its decision to establish its future home in Greater Manchester.

This monumental decision comes a year after Arts Council England (ACE) mandated ENO’s relocation from London, providing the company with a partial funding reprieve until 2029.

English National Opera in Manchester

Manchester is currently the largest European city without a resident opera company.

Fortunately, it has emerged as the frontrunner among five potential locations, including Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, and Nottingham, continuing the city’s amazing musical and cultural renaissance.

The decision to move ENO to Greater Manchester is hailed as a cultural triumph, bolstering the city’s reputation as a hub for artistic expression and creativity.

Manchester Opera’s New Home

On Tuesday, ENO revealed an exciting partnership with the Greater Manchester city region, expressing enthusiasm for collaborative opportunities within the region’s vibrant arts community.

The move is set to inspire and create works for new audiences and communities in Greater Manchester, aligning with the city’s commitment to cultural growth.

Andy Burnham Comments

Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, emphasised the pride in hosting one of the UK’s most exciting cultural institutions.

Burnham highlighted the shared vision for a future where ENO continues to produce groundbreaking opera, collaborates with northern artists, and extends its award-winning learning programs to local communities.

Bev Craig, the leader of Manchester city council, echoed these sentiments, stating that ENO and Greater Manchester are a “perfect fit.”

The city’s remarkable transformation over the last 30 years into one of Europe’s fastest-growing creative hubs solidifies its status as an ideal home for ENO.

When will the English National Opera Move to Manchester?

ENO assures that its new base will be fully established by March 2029, with plans to stage performances across Greater Manchester leading up to that date.

The company will continue to have a substantial annual season, both in Greater Manchester and at the Coliseum in London, maintaining its presence in the capital.

Arts Community Rejoices

Arts leaders in Greater Manchester have welcomed the news with open arms.

Speaking to the Guardian, Julia Fawcett, Chief Executive of the Lowry Arts Centre in Salford, expressed being “absolutely thrilled,” while John McGrath, Chief Executive of Factory International, looks forward to exciting new co-productions that explore the future of opera.

Operatic Voices Join the Chorus

Senior figures in the opera world have also applauded the move.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, described the news as “an enormous relief,” emphasising the importance of a thriving opera ecosystem for the country.

Laura Canning, Opera North’s General Director, highlighted the collaboration with ENO to develop audiences and expand the reach of opera across the region.

This strategic move by ENO signifies a momentous step towards enriching Greater Manchester’s cultural tapestry, establishing the city as a powerhouse for opera and the performing arts.

As ENO finds its new home in the heart of the North, the stage is set for a harmonious partnership that promises to resonate across the city’s cultural landscape for years to come.

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