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The Independent Culture
EVEN before his conquest of the claqueurs, Sir Harrison Birtwistle had been happily informing people that he was about to be awarded the freedom of Accrington, his Lancashire birthplace - a surprise to the PR man at Hyndburn Borough Council, under whose aegis Accrington falls. 'We're not a city, we don't have any keys and we haven't got any freedom to give anybody.' Ringing back, though, he revealed that the mayor was hoping to attend, 'and might be meeting the composer afterwards - for a drink'.

OUR thanks to Opera Factory - address, The Leathermarket, London SE1 - for captioning Colin Hawkins' photo of Jane Highfield and Llewellyn Rayappen: 'Jane wears a heart shaped top and silver skirt by Vicky Martin available at HyperHyper.' And they say The Rake's Progress is high culture. OF's production of the Stravinsky morality piece opens at the QEH on 22 April.