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Is new opera possible?

For 25 years opera failed to create new masterpieces. Now the barren years may finally be over

By Tom Sutcliffe   July 2003

Why call it Jerry Springer: the Opera? It’s a musical, not an opera-or, to be accurate, a revue sketch stretched to breaking point. But who knows what an opera for today should be, anyway? The Battersea Arts Centre’s opera festivals have included all sorts of shows that wouldn’t strike opera buffs as the real thing. Yet Tom Morris, the impresario who delivered Jerry Springer to the National Theatre, seems to have tapped an audience eager to sample shows like Tourette’s Diva, in which two would-be opera stars flow with piercingly sung obscenities.

Is there any difference in principle between operas…

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