Some years ago, I built a very simple AM transmitter and receiver using a red laser pointer and CdS photodetector. The practical range for that was around 100 meters at night. It probably could have worked at a longer range, but aiming accurately was quite difficult even with a tripod and lens on the transmitting side. The receiver had no optical components.
You might be intrigued by Alexander Bell's photophone invention which transmitted audio via modulated sunlight.
Your basic idea is sound, but if you're new to electronics, you might find that it's a bit easier to design and build a passive low pass filter, followed by an amplifier.
Also, if you plan to use this indoors, you might wish to consider optical filters to eliminate interference from fluorescent lighting. For your proposed system, the key to maximizing range will be the precision of aiming and the optics used. I'd recommend doing some experiments first with a simple system using, say, just a sine wave driving an IR LED or laser and the receiver at some distance away.