REVIEW: Paul Lewis @ Glyndebourne Opera House, 14/5/17

The Verse’s Lou Clement headed over to majestic Glyndebourne Opera House to catch the pianist Paul Lewis perform some classics, as part of the Brighton Festival, on the 14th May.

Glyndebourne is located a couple of miles from it’s more well-known neighbour Lewes. I’m attending the opera house which is located on expansive grounds in the village. The event is part of the Brighton Festival and is a chance to see pianist Paul Lewis perform in the theatre which usually hosts a season of highly-regarded opera. The grounds are open for picnics ahead of the performance, a tradition I understand. 

Driving through the village it somehow feels like stepping back in time we pass a foundry, the tea rooms and then follow a long drive to the venue. We park and are directed to the area for picnics. The grounds are nothing short of spectacular and are immaculate. They are almost too ordered. They reflect a diligent care and management over wild landscapes. A meandering river is filled with hundreds of lilies, fish jump from its surface and a willow tree casts shadows across the river. The grounds are in a shallow valley and on either side newly born lambs follow their mothers around. It is idyllic. 

The opera house is a calm and airy, the reception areas are filled with various artist’s work; for the most park depicting local scenes of the South Downs, and all for sale. We are sat in the stalls and what is noticeable is the design of the place. The stalls, the balconies, the floor and walls are made of carved wood, polished to within an inch of its life. The grand piano looks lonely on the shallow, curtained stage. However, as the performance continues I realise there are two instruments – the furniture is like one giant piece of percussion, reflecting and filleting the notes of music across the ears of thousand attendees. 

Paul Lewis is slight but not diminutive. As he begins to play Beethoven, I realise that this is going to be quite a performance. He doesn’t just play with his fingers or hands but is moving with every fibre of his body. Within the perfectly ornamented setting, in the heart of the Sussex countryside is music made to stir, to evoke emotions and to make your mind dance. I’m a fan.

In the break, we eat M&S biscuits and wander through the formal gardens, where we question the size of the head of a large sculpture, we wander closer, it’s a Henry Moore. The second half continued with Chopin, the minute waltz was superb, I almost held my breathe as I listened and it fired the imagination; the glitz of a ballroom is not far from my thoughts. 

We spent some time sitting in the sun afterwards, soaking up the atmosphere. A wonderful Sunday afternoon out, I hope they open for the festival again.

The Verse Staff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

REVIEW: Maximo Park @ De La Warr, 13/5/17

Wed May 31 , 2017
The Verse’s Dominic Courtney headed down to indie rock band Maximo Park’s album launch tour at Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavillion on Saturday 13th May. Despite me getting smacked in the face repeatedly by a bag, De La Warr brought down the roof. Maximo Park brought with them a strong […]
maximo park

You May Like

Get In Touch

Editor in Chief                                            Alice Pierre & Daisy Bradshaw

Student Voice Editor                       Sarah Tann

Arts Editor                                      Bethany Jo O’Neill

Entertainment Editor                         Federica Purcaro

Creative Editor                                  Roxanne Clark

News Editor             

Social Media Manager                                 n/a

Photographers                                                Alice Pierre                                                          Tate Batham

Website Manager                                          Amber Eder



About us

The Verse is run by students, for students. If you’re studying at University of Brighton and you’d like to get involved by writing for us or becoming a sub-editor, we welcome you to contact us via email.

The Verse is funded and supported by Brighton Students’ Union.

The views expressed on The Verse online newspaper do not necessarily represent the views of Brighton Students’ Union, its management or employees. For more information or for any enquiries, please contact the Marketing and Communications Team at