Opera North will name its new Leeds headquarters the Howard Opera Centre after philanthropist Keith Howard, who is donating £11.25 million towards its creation.
The £18 million redevelopment, on which construction began last July, will house new rehearsal studios, a costume and wigs workshop, offices and an education studio.
The Howard Opera Centre will open alongside a revamped Howard Assembly Room – also named after the philanthropist – Opera North’s 300-seat performance venue that is being refurbished as part of the project.
Howard, who is the president of Opera North, is the founder of education publisher Emerald Group.
Opera North general director Richard Mantle said: “Opera North is delighted to be able to recognise the extraordinary generosity of our longstanding supporter and friend, Dr Keith Howard, whose contribution to this project means we are able to create a new artistic home for the company, as well as improving the infrastructure, access and visitor experience for the Howard Assembly Room.”
In addition to Howard’s £11.25 contribution, Opera North has received £750,000 from Leeds City Council, alongside half a million pounds from Arts Council England and funding from individuals and foundations.
The company has raised 87% of the total £18 million sum, with £2.4 million left to source.