28 April, 2008 – Talks on £250million Opera House for East Manchester
High level talks have been held about a £250m project to build a National Opera House in East Manchester. The head of the Royal Opera House has confirmed that he has discussed the project with Manchester City Council.
Tony Hall, chief executive of the Covent Garden-based ROH, was quoted as saying: "Manchester has a strong track record of using culture to drive urban regeneration and we are excited about about how this might progress our programme of getting the work of the Royal Opera House to as wide an audience as possible."
The project is one of a number being discussed by a ministerial task force set up to look at ways of replacing the jobs and investment lost when the government decided to scrap plans for the UK’s pilot supercasino on a site next to the City of Manchester stadium.
The new opera house would be large enough to put on major productions featuring top internationally-acclaimed singers.
A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said in a statement today: "We can confirm we are holding talks with the Royal Opera House about economic and social regeneration through an
innovative partnership. The ideas we are discussing are not just about
performance but include skills and training covering many aspects of opera
and ballet. Our proposals will open the door of world-class performances to
the public to let them experience everything that happens in production and
"These talks started through the success of the inaugural Manchester
International Festival and its premiere of Monkey:Journey to the West,
which will now be staged at the Royal Opera House in July.
"It is too early to discuss details of any proposed partnership arrangement
but any agreement will build on existing cultural developments which
benefit the city region."
Source: Crain's Manchester Business