TT Lewes fundraiser at Glyndebourne
By Mike Grenville 1st December 2010
Glyndebourne and Transition Town Lewes hosted a fundraising concert at the Glyndebourne Opera House on the afternoon of November 21st.
The fundraiser for Transition Town Lewes was ‘a crazy, ambitious and supremely magical event’. A whole medley of Lewes performers came together in what some are calling ‘the event of the season’. The performances were hosted and woven together with entertaining stories about Lewes by Gus Christie, owner of Glyndebourne. The event, which was virtually sold out, attracted local people of all ages and walks of life, many of whom had never been to the world-famous opera house.
The afternoon raised a net of nearly £8,000 for Transition Town Lewes. Oliver Dudok van Heel, who helped organise the concert, said, ‘We’re delighted with the success of the event and the way it celebrated Lewes, its culture and musical talent. It has also given us the financial support needed to carry out practical actions geared towards developing solutions to the challenges of peak oil and climate change and will help our local energy company, Ovesco, support the creation a share issue for possibly Britain’s first community-owned solar photovoltaic power station.’
The ‘All Star – All Lewes’ line-up performed a mix of music through the ages. It included: Kalamus – Dirk (Mont) Campbell will be performing with his folk wind ensemble. The Paddock Singers, the Esterhazy Chamber Choir and the Bremf Community Choir conducted by John Hancorn. Piers Adams of Baroque ensemble Red Priest, and arguably the world’s best recorder player performed with the Baroque collective. The Glyndebourne Youth Opera, directed by John Hancorn showcased the talent of Lewes’ younger generation. Opera stars Paul Austin Kelly, Liz Brice, Thomasin Trezise and Ricardo Simonetti performed together accompanied by Carol Kelly. Arthur Brown, rock legend, also known as the ‘God of Hellfire’ will be performing an acoustic set with his band. The Galliard Ensemble, one of Britain’s leading chamber ensembles played from their wind music repertoire.
Each element of the programme illustrated stories from Lewes’ past, present and future; such as the Lewes Bonfire, the story of the Piltdown man, Thomas Paine, the Finnish Prisoners during WW2, the Lewes Pound and the future of Transition Town Lewes. There was also a section devoted to Lewes’ rich brewing tradition and the Lewes Arms boycott.
The whole event was sponsored by Glyndebourne, with Bills restaurant and Harveys brewery providing refreshments for the performers.