Blue plaque memorial to top opera singer

Blue plaque unveling for opera singer Richard Lewis CBE at 22 Church Street Willingdon June 30th 2012 E27045N'(L to R): Mayoress and mayor of Eastbourne Mrs Linda and Cllr Mike Thompson, Elizabeth Lewis widow of Richard Lewis, Peter and Helen Davies owners of 22 Church Street.
Blue plaque unveling for opera singer Richard Lewis CBE at 22 Church Street Willingdon June 30th 2012 E27045N'(L to R): Mayoress and mayor of Eastbourne Mrs Linda and Cllr Mike Thompson, Elizabeth Lewis widow of Richard Lewis, Peter and Helen Davies owners of 22 Church Street.
0
Have your say

A RENOWNED opera singer who died in Eastbourne has been commemorated with a blue plaque on the side of his old house.

Richard Lewis, CBE, spent some of his later years living at 22 Church Street in Willingdon and earlier this week the mayor of Eastbourne Mike Thompson led a ceremony to officially unveil the lasting memorial.

Born in Manchester to Welsh parents in 1914, Lewis began his career as a boy soprano and studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music.

He made his operatic debut in 1939 and went on to sing at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera and at Covent Garden in London before heading to America.

He died in November 1990, having moved back to England and settled in East Sussex, and is fondly remembered for his many recordings, which included works by Handel, Mozart, Elgar and Benjamin Britten.

After his death his widow Elizabeth established an annual award with a cash prize in his name which would go on to be used to help young singers at the start of their careers.

The Royal Academy of Music now boasts a Richard Lewis room while a further grant awarded by his trustees provides funding of up to £10,000 to schemes at Glyndebourne.

The plaque was unveiled on June 30, with Eastbourne mayor Mike Thompson turning up to pay his respects.

Elizabeth Muir-Lewis said, “Richard Lewis was one of Britain’s pre-eminent singers, renowned throughout the world.”