Twitter Opera Premiered Last Night At The Royal Opera House

The first opera based entirely on 140-character snippets sent by users on the popular microblogging website, Twitter, has been played last night at the Royal Opera House.

The seven-act collaborative composition has been performed to the original music composed by Helen Porter, intertwined with familiar opera tunes to mark the Deloitte Ignite 09 festival.

Twitterdammerung as the world's first "Twitter opera" will be remembered is the result of a crowdsourcing process involving more than 900 Twitter users. First announced at the beginning of August 2009, the opera's twitter account, @youropera, attracted more than 2100 followers in less than one month.

Parts of the Opera have been played on Saturday night and on Sunday lasting 20 minutes each. The play though has already attracted its fair share of criticisms. Igor Toronyi-Lalic of the Telegraph said that it was little more than a cheap gimmick adding that it was a good one as far as cheap gimmicks go.

Others have argued that the prestigious opera house brand was being "tarnished by a slavish attempt to hitch onto the latest trendy resource to attract a more youthful audience".

But Alison Duthie, head of ROH2 at the Royal Opera House, said: "It's the people's opera and the perfect way for everyone to become involved with the inventiveness of opera as the ultimate form of storytelling."

Our Comments

It shouldn't be forgotten that this is a joint project by the RoH and Deloitte as part of the three-day Ignite festival. Will there be another Twitter opera after this first experiment? We're not sure about it but this crowdsourcing venture could give others ideas.

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