Grange Park Opera & Black tie Picnic
June 8, 2018
We are very lucky to have been given the opportunity to visit Grange Park Opera
In only it’s 2nd Season this Opera house is a unique venue with beautiful mature gardens where we will be having a picnic prior & midway through the evenings entertainment which is Oklahoma by Rogers & Hammerstein with music performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra West Horsley Place
Bamber Gascoigne inherited this Grade I-Listed House and 300 acre estate from his aunt and godmother, Mary Innes-Ker, Duchess of Roxburgh, in 2014. West Horsley Place, is a 40 bedroom house which has centuries of history. When the house was left to Gascoigne it needed extensive repairs, so to this end many of the valuable contents were auctioned at Sotheby’s to raise funds for the restoration. Some £19 millions were raised, and so Gascoigne’s vision of sharing what had been a very private residence and estate could now be realized and many people who were unaware of its presence could now look forward to enjoying it.
West Horsley Place has enjoyed many incarnations but bypassed Victorian changes and has none of the ‘bijoufications’ of other revitalized country houses. Some treasures remain, however, along with the history, which encompasses 35-course banquets enjoyed by Henry VIII, and [so legend has it] the severed head of Sir Walter Raleigh.
Attracted by the Sotheby’s sale was Wasfi Kani, founder of the Grange Opera, and so the next chapter in West Horsley’s history is being written to music. The Opera is held in the ‘back garden’ where the Duchess of Roxburgh’s ashes remain deeply buried in the concrete foundations where the first violins sit.
Gascoigne has set up a charity, the Mary Roxburgh Trust, to ensure that funding continues for the preservation of the house and grounds for future generations to enjoy. The Guildford Shakespeare Company is planning sonnet walks through the gardens in the summer time.
The cost is £145 which includes the price of the seat, and a picnic provided by Fortnum & Mason
Please note that we only have a few seats available now