In June 2017, after a year of frantic building and fundraising, Grange Park Opera (est. 1998) opened the doors of its new home in Surrey.
Just 23 miles from London, near the M25/A3 junction, West Horsley Place was inherited in 2014 by Bamber Gascoigne from his aunt, the Duchess of Roxburghe. In an act of exceptional philanthropy, Gascoigne created the Mary Roxburghe Trust (MRT) to own the buildings and land and granted GPO a 99-year lease.

More than 30,000 people have visited the new theatre. It has hosted Moscow’s Novaya Opera (152 members including orchestra and chorus) performing a world première Pushkin, The Black Pearl (a play about Maria Callas), 100 primary children (Primary Robins) in a concert for parents accompanied by the Soutbank Sinfonia, .the English National Opera Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra.


– JANUARY 2016 Appeal launched
– 16 MAY 2016 Planning Permission granted
– 20 JUNE 2016 Phase I building commences. Final festival in Hampshire
– 8 JUNE 2017 1st festival in Surrey
– AUGUST 2017 Phase 2 building including the Lavatorium Rotundum
– JUNE 2018 2nd festival. Ticket sales increase 14%
– AUGUST 2018 Phase 3
(a) Main forecourt 900m2. The existing gravel forecourt of the theatre is impossible for wheelchairs and difficult for walking. It is dusty in dry weather and puddingy in wet weather. A hard resin-bonded surface will also mean the theatre can be used in winter months regardless of weather
(b) Service yard 700m2 and area around Lavatorium Rotundum
(c) Inside the theatre, there are concrete floors (stalls circle, grand tier, balcony levels) that will be “sealed” with a coloured poured resin. As they are, the concrete floors emit dust which singers and wind instrumentalists breathe, as they gulp to sing / play.
(d) a covered colonnade to provide shelter

We are grateful to our Pioneers and members of the Circle of Virtuous Enterprise who have raised £10.5m+ to build the new opera house.

We are not yet finished. You can support the Appeal by contacting Jack Rush

View the 2018 Appeal update

Our passion for the beautiful does not make us extravagant, nor does our love of culture make us weak. As for our wealth, we do not brag of it. Instead, we use it well, appropriately, for the good of all…


Join The Appeal

To become a Pioneer or take your place in the Circle of Virtuous Enterprise, contact Jack Rush on 01962 73 73 69, or send us an e-mail.

Winter Matched Funding

An anonymous donor has offered to match £200k, yielding £400k. It means that a 20 pound note in your pocket becomes a 50 pound note (with gift aid). That is magic.

Pillars of Society

Around the theatre we are building a 3-metre deep colonnade comprising fourteen 3m larch pillars of tree trunks chosen from a Sussex estate in 2016. It is £30k to take a pillar in the name of your family or in memory of important to you.

150 Pioneers

Joanna Lumley is patron of the 150 trailblazing Pioneers, whose donations of £20k - £100k will make a difference to the performing arts landscape in a vision that celebrates culture, learning, heritage and artistic excellence.

The Circle of Virtuous Enterprise

The Circle of Virtuous Enterprise, whose patron is Bryn Terfel, are 500 people who are each contributing towards the Appeal to build the Theatre in the Woods. The current donation level is £3,000.