Theatre News

ENO to relocate to Manchester

The company will move across the next six years

ENO’s Akhnaten, © Belinda Jiao

English National Opera (ENO) has entered into a partnership with Greater Manchester to establish a primary base for the renowned opera company within the city-region by the year 2029.

The collaboration aims to introduce ENO’s esteemed cultural offerings to Greater Manchester, following an assessment process for the world-renowned company.

In July, Arts Council England granted ENO £24 million, facilitating the development of an artistic program outside of London from 2024 to 2026. By 2029, ENO aims to be firmly rooted in Greater Manchester, delivering performances, wellness initiatives, and educational activities in collaboration with various partners and venues throughout the city-region.

Notably, this move doesn’t mark an abandonment of ENO’s traditional home, the London Coliseum (which it will continue to own and operate), where it will continue its substantial opera season annually beyond 2029. The ENO will stage work in a variety of venues across the Greater Manchester city-region.  

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.”

Jenny Mollica, interim chief executive officer of the 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.”