LEGENDARY opera singer Jenny Lind, who is buried in Malvern, has inspired a new opera being written by rock musician Elvis Costello.

The Secret Arias will tell the story of the unrequited love of Hans Christian Andersen, the fairytale writer, for Lind.

It will include songs written by Andersen for Lind, who never returned his affection.

Costello has been commissioned to write the work by the Royal Danish Theatre, which will stage it in Copenhagen in 2006. The production will then go on tour internationally and be released on CD and DVD.

Jenny Lind was the most celebrated singer of her era and became known as the Swedish Nightingale.

Towards the end of her life, she lived at Wynds Point, near British Camp. When she died in November 1887, she was buried in the town cemetery off Wilton Road.

Elvis Costello came to fame in the late 1970s as part of the "new wave" of rock musicians, when he released a number of acclaimed albums and singles.

Since then, he has broadened his horizons and worked with several classical musicians.

In 1993, he made a record with the Brosky Quartet, a classical ensemble named after a musician friend of Edward Elgar, who also lived in Malvern.

Nic Lloyd, of Malvern Theatres, said: "It sounds a fascinating idea. Elvis Costello is a very clever guy. It would be marvellously appropriate if this show could come to Malvern. I'll be keeping an eye out for it."