Special event Past event Saturday, 11 November 2017

Opera Weekender: Birth of an Opera House

Join the team behind Grange Park Opera to discover the ins and outs of building a new opera house. As part of the wider program around the Opera: Passion, power and Politics exhibition.

  • The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre

  • Free event

Opera Weekender: Birth of an Opera House photo

In the spring of 2015 Wasfi Kani, the Grange Park Opera CEO, was suddenly faced with a situation where plans and bookings for major opera productions were committed over the coming years but with nowhere to mount and perform them. Through an amazing confluence of circumstances, hard graft, an inspirational funding drive and the collaboration and support of many people, a 700 seat U-shaped opera house – the first in the UK for many generations– was planned and built in just 22 months.

It was sufficiently complete for the first season at West Horsley Place in June this year opening with Ekaterina Metlova and Joseph Calleja in Tosca. A second phase of work is underway to ensure another level of completion by June 2018.
Impresario, Wasfi Kani; builder, Martin Smith and architect, David Lloyd Jones will explain how this feat was achieved with a design team headed by Tim Ronalds Architects, and what the future will hold at the V&A, as part of the forthcoming Opera Weekender on Saturday 11th November at 1.00pm in the Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre.