Manchester confirmed as new ENO home

Hattie Butterworth
Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The company will be established in Manchester by 2029

ENO will continue to present performances at its current home, the London Coliseum
ENO will continue to present performances at its current home, the London Coliseum

English National Opera has announced that it has the company’s main base move to Greater Manchester by 2029. ENO will continue to present productions at its current home, the London Coliseum, which it will own and manage.

The move will continue to fulfil the company’s agreement, reached with Arts Council England (ACE) in July, allowing it to receive £24m to develop an artistic programme provided it find a new base outside of London between 2024 and 2026 period. In today's announcement, ENO said it will be 'delivering performances, wellbeing and learning activity with multiple partners and venues across the city-region’. No information has yet been released about the exact location of the company’s new home.

ENO's interim CEO Jenny Mollica said: ‘...today’s announcement marks an important and defining moment for our remarkable company... Throughout our discussions with partners and stakeholders in Greater Manchester, we have been struck by an emerging vision for the future of ENO and operatic work in the city-region, defined by a shared ambition to open up new possibilities for opera in people’s lives.’

Darren Henley, chief executive of ACE said: ‘ENO’s new base is good news for the people of Greater Manchester. It means excellent opera performances for new audiences and new ways for young people here to experience and participate in opera. It will also bring new opportunities for creative and technical professionals in Greater Manchester to partner with a world-class organisation making innovative work.’

In October, Chief Conductor Martyn Brabbins resigned after ENO announced plans to reduce its orchestra. No announcement has yet been made of how the new plan will affect ENO’s staff, orchestra and chorus in terms of employment.

Leeds-based Opera North released a statement saying it is ‘hungry to collaborate with ENO and other arts organisations to make sure that music reaches as many children and young people as possible and to use public funds as effectively and efficiently as we can for the benefit of all.’

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