Planning permission granted for Snell Associates' Garsington Opera Pavilion
After twenty-one years of operation in Garsington Manor, Garsington Opera - founded by the late music lover Leonard Ingrams and his wife Rosalind - is being transferred to a new location, the stunningly beautiful Wormsley Estate in the Chiltern Hills. As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Wormsley Estate boasts a two acre 18th century walled garden and impressive deer park, offset by a range of traditional flinted buildings.
Planning permission has just been granted, allowing the Opera to be held on the Estate from 2nd June to 5th July 2011. Garsington has henceforth commissioned architect Robin Snell to design an appropriate pavilion to house the stage, orchestra and auditorium from a limited palette of materials - timber, fabric and steel. Inspired by traditional Japanese pavilion design, the structure will be erected each year during opera season and features sliding screens, extended platforms, multiple verandas and bridges which anchor it to the natural landscape.
Two thirds of the £3m relocation fund has already been donated from supporters and friends of Garsington Opera, however a fundraising appeal is still in full swing to hit the target sum. Anthony Whitworth-Jones, general director of Garsington Opera said: "We are thrilled to say that we have just commissioned the new pavilion designed to our own specification. Our architect Robin Snell has created a very beautiful structure. It is also extremely heartening that our supporters and friends have enabled us to proceed through their generous gifts to our appeal. Without their support we would not be able to move, although there is still some way to go before we reach our target of £3million."
Mark Getty added: "We are delighted to welcome Garsington Opera for a summer season each year. I see Garsington Opera forming a central part of a vibrant cultural future for Wormsley Estate. It is also important to us that Garsington Opera will bring its terrific outreach activities to benefit schools and others in the local area with an interest in the performing arts. We are very pleased to be associated with a successful arts organisation which enjoys such a high reputation for excellence in its field both nationally and internationally."