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Only 23 miles from London, set in the Surrey Hills, Grange Park Opera is one of the major summer opera festivals in Europe.
Founded in 1998 by Wasfi Kani OBE, Grange Park Opera has staged more than 50 operas, including the acclaimed productions of Rusalka, Tristan und Isolde, Peter Grimes, and Fiddler on the Roof with Bryn Terfel at the BBC Proms.
Grange Park Opera held their last season at The Grange, in Hampshire, in 2016.
In 2017 the company relocated to West Horsley Place, Surrey, and in eleven months built a five-storey opera house modelled on La Scala, Milan, seating 750. The Times Arts Awards acknowledged the achievement as the “fastest construction of an opera house in history”.
West Horsley Place is a 300-acre estate with a glorious, sprawling 15th century house surrounded by formal gardens with secret corners, aged trees, box hedges and a majestic crinkle crankle wall.
Behind the house, an ancient orchard opens into a glade: the setting for the new Theatre in the Woods.
The opera house, glimpsed amongst the trees, appears as a cross-gartered brick drum and within is an intimate five-tiered auditorium, modelled on the horseshoe shape of La Scala, Milan.
Chairman: Simon Freakley (also chair at Dulwich Picture Gallery)
Iain Burnside, pianist and broadcaster
Tony Bugg, head of global insolvency, Linklaters
Joanna Lumley, actress, former model, author and activist
Sue Butcher, Director, Barclays and Trustee, Sadler’s Wells
Dame Vivien Duffield, Chairman of the Royal Opera House Endowment Fund, Director of the Southbank Centre board and a Governor, Royal Ballet.
David Kershaw, CEO M&C Saatchi, Governor, Southbank Centre
Keith Weed, CMO Unilever, President of the Advertising Association