Così Fan "Twitter"?

The Royal Opera House has initiated a new project by joining forces with the social networking site and creating the world’s first 'Twitter' opera.

The Royal Opera House is encouraging users to contribute 'tweets' - mini blogs of 140 characters - to form a libretto for an opera which will be performed at the Deloitte Ignite Festival next month.

The process of creating this opera is like a child's game: each user submits a 'tweet' which becomes the next part of the story. So far the story includes William who is locked in a tower with birds, Hans who has promised to rescue him and a woman who is creating a potion to speak to birds in her biochemistry lab. The full libretto can be found on the Royal Opera House website .

Excerpts of the text will be set to music by composer Helen Porter, who will be using both original music and familiar opera melodies, to create a fun take on opera. Throughout the performance there will be a chance to 'tweet' on one of the 20 laptops that will be available.

Opinions are split as to whether this experimental project is degrading opera and threatening the reputation of the prestigious opera house, or if it is an attempt to appeal to the masses and prove that the elitism of opera is a thing of the past. "It's the people's opera. The perfect way for everyone to become involved with the inventiveness of opera as the ultimate form of storytelling," Alison Duthie of the Royal Opera House explains.

This project is part of the Royal Opera House's ongoing dialogue with internet users, including 18,000 Facebook and 2,000 Twitter followers. The Royal Opera House is changing its image from being elitist and middle-class to being a fashionable establishment which is up to date with modern life.