Opera company to establish permanent base in Yorkshire

English Touring Opera (ETO), has confirmed Sheffield as the company’s new home.

It will relocate its offices to the city by the end of October 2024 as part of the Arts Council England Transfer Programme.

ETO already has existing links with Sheffield, as well as a strong audience in the city built through its regular visits to Sheffield Theatres on its tours.

Councillor Martin Smith, chair of the Economic Development and Skills Committee at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is a city of culture and creativity. We have a vibrant music and arts scene, our grassroots offer is exceptional and we also have nationally acclaimed venues and institutions within our culture sector.

“Outside of London, we have the largest regional theatre district and earlier this year we hosted the MOBO Awards.

“There is so much going on in the city in the way of arts and creativity and we are happy that English Touring Opera will be part of this going forward.

“I’d like to extend a warm welcome to them on behalf of the council and the city.”

The initial move will be to a temporary office base in Sheffield, to be completed by October 2024, allowing ETO to form deeper relationships within the city before moving to a permanent home in spring 2025.

Because of the long-term nature of the company’s planning cycle, ETO says it will continue to rehearse and open its tours at London’s Hackney Empire, with the ambition to rehearse and open in Sheffield from the spring 2026 season.