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Joanna Lumley and Bryn Terfel lend support to Grange Park Opera

Joanna Lumley. Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock Joanna Lumley. Photo: Featureflash/Shutterstock
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Joanna Lumley and opera star Bryn Terfel have backed a £10 million fundraising campaign by Grange Park Opera in aid of its new home in a Surrey wood.

The company previously unveiled plans to build a new 700-seat theatre on the West Horsley Place estate, which would be up and running by 2017.

This followed the announcement it would leave its current home on the Grange estate in Hampshire at the end of the 2016 season, after a disagreement with the landlords over rent.

Lumley, a trustee of the opera company, said West Horsley Place was “waiting to be reborn through the fabulous generosity of [estate owner] Bamber Gascoigne and the energy and passion of everyone who loves Grange Park Opera”.

She continued: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something truly unique in the arts outside London, breathing new life into this demi-Eden.”

Almost a third of the total building cost for the Theatre in the Woods has already been pledged by undisclosed donors ahead of the campaign launch.

It is expected to host a number of events outside of the company’s traditional summer season, including concerts, dance productions, fashion shows and educational workshops.

Expressing his support for the new venue, Terfel added: “Singing with Grange Park Opera is life-affirming. These are people who want to bring a new generation to opera on and off the stage.

“I will be joining them on their journey. I hope you will participate with me in this initiative that is vital to the new Theatre in the Woods.”

The opera company is offering rewards for people who donate certain amounts, with those who donate more than £100,000 having areas of the theatre named after them.