The New Theatre
“Britain has a new opera house. The theatre has excellent sightlines and clear supportive acoustics. Its potential is enormous”.
The UK’s first new opera house in the 21st century is something to sing about.
West Horsley Place is a Surrey demi-Eden: 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. Its vibrant acoustic has been much-praised and there is a generous orchestra pit which in 2017 housed the 70-strong orchestra for Wagner’s Die Walküre.
Set within the Surrey Hills, we are 23 miles from London. Horsley Station is 1 mile away with trains from Waterloo, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction (45 mins; 4 trains per hour). Woking Station is 8 miles away (25 mins; 8 trains per hour).
Since its inception in 1998, Grange Park Opera has performed to some 300,000 people with more than 50 productions and 450 performances. In 18 festivals, it has become a treasured feature of the international operatic landscape.
Phase 1 accomplished 90% of the building works, creating an opera house in 11 months. The £10m target was achieved in July 2017.
Phase 2 (October 2017 – April 2018) is now in full swing. It was decided to extend the Appeal and aim for £14m. From this grand total, we will build the Lavatorium Rotundum and create the cushion of a £2.5m Endowment Fund.
Phase 3 will include a colonnade around the theatre and forecourt – 14 larch tree trunks (45cm x 3.9m) seasoned for a year in Sussex. We will also install Oak flooring in the vestibule and a resin floor in the theatre.
The Theatre in the Woods will be used and enjoyed by many people from many walks of life and for many generations.