ABOUT GRANGE PARK OPERA
Only 23 miles from London by the Surrey Hills, Grange Park Opera is one of the major summer opera festivals in Europe. Founded in 1998 by Wasfi Kani OBE, the company 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 was inherited in 2015 by author and broadcaster Bamber Gascoigne from his aunt Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. He gifted the estate to the Mary Roxburghe Trust.
Grange Park Opera has become an integral part of the English summer season, held annually in June and July. The audience – invariably, but not exclusively in black tie and cocktail dresses – arrive from 4pm, have a glass of champagne and wander through the historic walled gardens where a convivial atmosphere reigns.
In the long interval, the audience settles into the two restaurants: either inside the 15th-century house, or The Walnut Tree Restaurant, in picnic pavilions in the Crinkle-Crankle garden, on the Croquet Lawn, or in the Rose Parterre. Then there are those that just fling their rugs, unfold picnic furniture and have a feast in the orchard. And when the opera ends, the audience walks out into a magical English landscape.
Grange Park Opera is a not-for-profit organisation.
Founded in 1987, sister charity Pimlico Opera works in prisons and primary schools.
The Primary Robins project gives 1,800 school children, who have little exposure to music, a weekly half hour singing class and the opportunity to perform at our new opera house.
For 26 years, there has been a seven-week annual prison project in men’s and women’s prisons and more than 50,000 members of the public have been taken into prison.