Bamber Legacy Project


  • A Golden Heart £50k (naming a new dressing room)
  • Fingers on buzzers £20k
  • Your starter for ten £10k
  • I’ll have to hurry you £5k
  • University Challengers £1k-£5k
  • No conferring other amounts – we are grateful for all contributions

Pledges may be paid over three years.


Bamber’s Legacy Project is adding two additional storeys (indicated by the red line in the drawing below) to create dressing rooms, lavatories, showers and more. 

On the fourth floor is the Simon Freakley Treetop Studio (made possible by a gift from Jay Alix) which will be put to use year-round for dance classes, by Primary Robins, by Young Artists, by local groups and for dinners. 

Two small roof terraces will look out over the 350 acre estate.

Builder Martin Smith is making rapid progress. The videos say it all.


The vision & the next steps

The opera house interior is now red and soon the dressing rooms +  studio will soon be complete. The next hurdle . . . an external lift and heating air source heat pump, heat exchanger and fans.

The vision is to

  • Broaden artistic content beyond the opera season. With heating it will be possible to present all kinds of things – especially in the dark months – from immersive events to ballet.
  • Be a Good Citizen. The studio will be used by Primary Robins and by local people’s for community classes and rehearsals. Local performance groups may use the opera house for their larger concerts.
  • Bring in income from fee-earning uses such as filming and dinners (on the stage itself or in the studio).

Existing north-east view showing two floors of dressing rooms

North-east view showing three floors of dressing rooms and the Treetop Studio

The Bamber Bench

By sculptor Raphael Maklouf

Bamber’s Bench is a bronze life-size cast of Bamber himself. He sits at ease, glowing with youth and a familiar smile. This work was created by British sculptor Raphael Maklouf, who spent over fifty years as Bamber’s neighbour. Maklouf emigrated to the United Kingdom as a child, and he won fame for designing the Queen’s image as featured on Commonwealth coins from 1985 to 1997. His larger works include the Fifteen Stations of the Cross at Brentwood Cathedral, as well as a sculpture of Shakespeare seated by the Globe Theatre.


The Brick Bridge  

Beneath the willow near the dock door, Martin Smith will build a brick bridge. After the opera house and lavatorium were finished, he counted 8,160 unused bricks. He needs 1,000 for the east elevation of the dressing rooms, and 3,000 for the bridge. What shall we do with the rest?

Bamber Gascoigne Legacy Project supporters

Christina Gascoigne
Joanna Lumley
Bryn Terfel
Wynne Evans

Lead Donors
Michael & Hilary Cowan 
The Simon Freakley Treetop Studio, made possible by a gift of Jay Alix

A Golden Heart 
Mark & Rosemary Carawan
Samantha & Nabil Chartouni
Mat & Sam Kirk
François Freyeisen & Shunichi Kubo
David & Amanda Leathers
Mr & Mrs Matthias Ruhland
Natasha Tsukanova
Sharp Foundation
Geoff & Fiona SquireColwinston Charitable Trust
and one anonymous donor

Fingers on Buzzers
Judith Lawless & Kevin Egan
The Ethos Foundation
Simon & Meg Freakley
Malcolm Herring
Wilhelm & Evelyn Jenckel
William & Felicity Mather
Tower Mint

Starter for 10 
Tom & Alison Baigrie
Joanna & Stephen Barlow
Jonathan & Jane Clarke
Peter & Manina Dicks
Chris Carter & Stuart Donachie
Nick & Lesley Dumbreck
George Goulding
Jeremy Abram & Diane Kenwood
David & Clare Kershaw
Brian & Jennifer Ratner
John & Pit Rink
Hugh & Catherine Stevenson
Anthony & Carolyn Townsend
Hilary & Mike Wagstaff
Woodward Charitable Trust
and one anonymous donor

I’ll have to hurry you 
Nan Brenninkmeyer
Paul Chivers
Aidan & Colette Clegg
Raymonde Jay
Peter & Poppity Nutting
Mike & Jessamy Reynolds
Sir John & Lady Sunderland
Andrew & Jane Sutton
Southampton Row Trust
Keith & Katy Weed
In memory of Sir Michael Parker
and one anonymous donor

University Challengers
Mr Anthony Ashplant
Dame Janet Baker CH
Margaret Bolam

Mrs Roger Bradley
Prof Martin Brown & Dr Sue Brown
Eleanor Cranmer & Nick Thomas
Iain & Kim Clark
Lisa Curtlin
John & Carrie Naunton Davies
Michael & Allie Eaton
David & Virginia Essex
The Fischer Fund
Angela & David Harvey
Lady Hunt & David John
David & Madi Laurence
Lady Lever
Susan & Ludi Lochner
Elizabeth & Martin Morgan
Mollie Norwich
Bill Bougourd & Judith Thomas
Carolyn Ward
Clare Williams
John & Linde Wotton
and four anonymous donors

No Conferring
Chris Baldwin-Christophersson
Valerie Booth
Susan Briant
Ms D C Briscoe
Lucy Butcher
Ellen Butterworth-Evans
Timothy & Judy Carter
Caroline Chichester-Clark
Jonathan & Jane Clarke
Ian & Fiona Codd
Dr Ian Collins
Bernard Davies
Sandra Dennis
Mrs Sarah Drury
Beryl Evans
Mr & Mrs Eves
Lucy Gampell OBE
The volunteer gardeners
Mrs Jane Gelardi
David & Jillian Gendron
Ms J Glasser
Cecile Gordon
Mr & Mrs Rod Graham
Chris & Margaret Handley
Mr & Mrs Joyce Harkness
Tatiana Harrison
Mr & Mrs Andrew Hayley Bell
Mrs Annabel L Hillary
P. Hoare
Peter & Marianne Hooley

The Hope Family
Clare Hoskins
Elisabeth Ingles
Mr Philip Jackson
Julian G Jones
Professor Heather Joshi CBE
Robin & Nick Kadrnka
Mr L Kennedy
Graham & Jane King
Gillian Kirk
David & Manuela Kleeman
Mr Paul Kozak
Julia Lamaison
Janey Langford
Mr & Mrs Gordon Lee-Steere
Carole & Tim Lipscombe
John & Annabel Lofthouse
Gabriella MacDonald
Angela Mackersie
Dr Francis Matthey & Dr Lydia Jones
Desmond & Clare McCann
Mr & Mrs McClung
J McNamara
Sarah & David Melville
William Middleton-Smith
Susan Munson
Kathy Mylrea
Michael de Navarro
On behalf of Mr and Mrs K O’Byrne
Sean Overend
Claire Owen
Elizabeth Parker
Mr & Mrs G. Pashley
Mr Richard Perkins
Dr Francis & Mrs Elizabeth Pocock
Nicholas & Melanie Purnell
Sir William & Lady Reardon Smith
Alexandra Roberts
Mr Anthony Robinson
Polly Morgan & Benjie del Rosario
Jack Rush
Jan Leigh & Janusz Rynkiewicz
Mr Alan Sainer
Anthony & Lorraine Samuels
Rosario Sgarioto
Phil & Kath Simmons
Alexander & Mole Smith
Marcus Jarvis & Tony Sparrow
Christopher & Tineke Stewart
Rebecca Stockland
Gillian & John Thorpe
Peter & Tessa Watkins
John Woodruff
Tim & Wendy Woolsey
Toby & Judy Young
and 36 anonymous donors