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If ever there was a reason to get involved in the arts in Manchester, it is the city’s growing reputation in this field – one that is gaining increasing international recognition. 

The latest example of this is the travel gurus at Lonely Planet, who have listed the world’s must-visit travel destinations for 2023. Manchester is the only city in the UK on the list, and one of just two British destinations, along with southern Scotland. 

Vice president of the guide Tim Hall said of Manchester: “urban dynamism combined with a fascinating history and cultural scene makes it an exciting pick”.

“Quite simply, it’s one of the best – if not the best – cities in the UK with something for everyone,” the guide said. In a long list of attractions, it noted the museums, the food, the sports, music, the vibrancy of the city’s growth, plus a number of new developments, including the Factory International Arts Space.

The latter will provide another venue for the city region’s many skilled actors and musicians to show off their talents and it adds to the list of good reasons to take acting classes in Manchester, as well as being an additional attraction for visitors.

Other emerging reasons include the prospect of the English National Opera (ENO) being moved to Manchester. This would be another major feather in the city’s cultural cap. Naturally, it is not hard to find some scathing commentary among the London-centric national press about the capital losing such an asset, but that just shows how much Manchester could gain.

However, even the angry opinion piece in the Independent by David Lister (presumably not the Red Dwarf character) admitted that Manchester is “already well served by the excellent Opera North”, which at least confirms that such culture is not alien to the city. If the Arts Council wants the ENO to move up north, maybe it’s because it knows how deep the pool of acting and singing talent is.

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