English National Opera announces move to Manchester 

05 Dec 2023 News

London Coliseum


The English National Opera (ENO) has announced that it is working with Greater Manchester to create a new base in the city by 2029. 

Arts Council England (ACE) awarded the charity £24m this year on the condition that it created a primary base outside of London. 

The additional funding came after ACE cut ENO’s funding to the organisation in half last November. 

At the time, an ACE spokesperson said: “We require English National Opera to move to another part of England if they wish to continue to receive support from us.”

ENO said that the transition to its new business model over the next two years will see the charity established in Greater Manchester by 2029, where it will deliver performances and wellbeing and learning activities. 

However, it will continue its opera season every year in its London home, the London Coliseum. 

ENO: ‘Delighted’

Jenny Mollica, interim CEO at ENO, 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.”

Andy Burnham: ‘Immensely proud’

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, commented: “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.”

DCMS: ‘Level up access to opera’

Lucy Frazer, secretary of state at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, said: “The English National Opera is a treasured national institution and I am pleased that people across Greater Manchester, the North West and beyond will be able to enjoy their captivating performances more easily.

“I look forward to seeing the exciting new developments in the English National Opera’s journey as they build on this new partnership, level up access to opera up and down the country and create more opportunities for the young people across the North to explore their creative talent.”

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