English National Opera to make Greater Manchester its new home when it leaves London - full statements

The globally renowned company will make the move to the city-region by 2029 from its current location in the West End of London.
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The English National Opera will be making Greater Manchester its new home. 

The globally renowned company will make the move to the city-region by 2029 from its current location in the West End of London. Confirmation of the Manchester move comes after a row with Arts Council England over long-term funding of the ENO. It was agreed ultimately that it would receive £24million to develop an artistic programme in a new base outside of London during the 2024 to 2026 period. 

The ENO will then be “firmly established” in Greater Manchester by 2029, delivering performances with multiple partners and venues across the region. It will also continue its opera season every year at its London home, the London Coliseum.

Jenny Mollica, Chief Executive Officer (Interim), English National Opera said: “Today’s announcement marks an important and defining moment for our remarkable company. This future direction will see us continue to expand our role as a national institution – supporting our mission to create work with and for even more audiences across the country, alongside our annual season at the London Coliseum.  

“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. We look forward to embarking on new adventures with partners, artists and audiences across Greater Manchester as we create a range of operatic repertoire at a local, national and international scale, inspired by the extraordinary cultural vibrancy of Greater Manchester and its communities.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy BurnhamGreater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham 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.”

Bev Craig, Leader of Manchester City Council, said: "We're absolutely delighted that English National Opera is going to make Greater Manchester its new home.

Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev CraigManchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig
Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig

"We're a city that puts culture and the arts centre-stage and the impact of this can be seen in the audience numbers, range of venues, skills pipeline and local talent that already exists here in abundance.

"With a growing population, a thriving business sector, and already a global destination for visitors who travel from across the world to Manchester to see our world-class productions, the city region is a perfect fit for ENO and we can't wait to welcome them and work with them as they make Greater Manchester their home."

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, said: “This welcome news offers significant new creative and innovative opportunities for Salford and Manchester within GM and we’re really looking forward to welcoming ENO’s internationally respected creative, production and artistic teams. We are excited to explore how the City of Salford’s vibrant and creative ecology can collaborate with ENO as future plans are developed. I’m also looking forward to introducing ENO to the cultural partnership in Salford, our fantastic cultural and creative institutions and Greater Manchester’s work around creative health”.