The English National Opera and Greater Manchester have announced a new working partnership 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 comes after a rigorous assessment process to decide on this new city base. ENO noted that it was excited by the close strategic alignment of Greater Manchester’s values and vision with its own.
The new partnership will focus on developing 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 organizations across the city-region.
The announcement also comes after an agreement with Arts Council England in July in which £24m was awarded to ENO to enable the organization to develop an artistic program 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, well-being, 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.
In a statement, Jenny Mollica, Chief Executive Officer (Interim), English National Opera said, “ENO is delighted to confirm the start of our new partnership with Greater Manchester from today. As we continue to transition through significant change, 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. We hugely appreciate the generosity, enthusiasm and time given throughout this robust process by all the cities involved, and are heartened by the warmth and openness we have received from Greater Manchester’s cultural sector and city-region leaders as we look ahead to a bright shared future together.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester added, “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.”