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I made three trips to Malvern on successive days last week, to cover English Touring Opera’s delicious all-French autumn programme in its entirety. I’m glad I did, mostly because their new production of The Tales of Hoffmann (I’m a massive sucker for operetta composers going “straight”) was an absolute zinger. My review of The Tales of Hoffmann and Massenet’s Werther is here, and of Pelleas et Melisande, here.

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But also because as the afternoon sun vanished over Herefordshire it lit up the Malvern Hills like a beacon, and I was able to make a very long-planned trip to the grave of Sir Edward Elgar, his wife Alice and his daughter Carice. It’s clear that there’s a fairly regular stream of visitors, which, in a small way, is a happy thought. He’s where he wanted to be – and people still care.

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