Summarize An Opera In 140 Characters Or Less

It’s time for another contest folks!. It started on Twitter but it seems only fair (and way more fun) to launch the contest here as well.

UPDATE: A $20 Arkiv voucher is now on the table as a prize for the most fabulous synopsis. Entries will be judged by The OM’s European correspondent for wittiness, amusingness and accuracy. Have fun!

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Summarize an opera plot in 140 characters or less.
  2. Post your efforts on Twitter with the hashtag #operaplot, email it to Miss Mussel or post it in the comments below.


  • You may enter as many times as you wish.
  • Points are awarded for wittiness and interestingness.
  • Spaces and punctuation count as characters.
  • Contest closes at midnight EST on Sunday
  • Tell all your friends

Here’s a couple to get you started:

@missmussel — V>TB. Has party. Shacks up with A. G meddles . V dumps A. Has party. A freaks. V=TB, faints. A&V reunite but TB>V. Curtain.

@higgis– he cut off a bollock, but that still wasn’t enough for them. Now, he wants revenge. Only the pure will survive.

@higgis – he’s in love with his new mother. Affairs of state are greater than affairs of the heart. Questions will be asked.


  1. Emilie S.

    Girls lose gold, incest, sword, Ride, fire, son is hero, fates, betrayal, stabbing, more fire, throw ring in the water, place burns anyway.

  2. Emilie S.

    Uncle and king both want girl who wants outlaw tenor who swears oath to kill himself at Uncle’s whim. Girl/tenor marry, uncle calls in oath.

  3. lbc

    girl loves outlaw. Bad guy wants girl. Outlaw bleeds all over the place. Girl saves outlaw from necktie party. Girl and outlaw move out of California. Gold panners sing in Italian.

  4. lbc

    King marries French girl. His son has hots for girl. Son becomes rebel. Heretics get burned. One eyed woman steals box with secret info in it. Son rescued by Grandpa’s possible ghost. Audience confused by ending.

  5. joe green

    girl engaged to aristocrat. Big lug pals with girl. Napoleon causes trouble. Aristocrat buys farm due to French musket. Girl ends up with big lug. Big chorus sing Russian victory songs.

  6. joe green

    Tavern girl loves outlaw. Nasty guy causes trouble. Outlaw bleeds all over the place. Girl saves outlaw from necktie party. Girl and outlaw move out of California

  7. At first I was confused – not even the Ring Cycle has 140 characters, but I think I get it now. I’m proud to say that each of the summaries below is exactly 140 characters (assuming MS Word’s wordcount tool is correct):

    Queen of May? Girls today! So, be daring; Crown Al Herring. He’s afraid; lemonade makes him braver. Misbehavior! Doesn’t die. Makes Mum cry.

    Poor Susanna counts the Count as quite a fan, a not nice man. His wife is sad, and Fig’ro’s mad. Switcheroo exposes cad; he admits he’s bad.

  8. Two more (each with exactly 140 characters), including an improved version of the Figaro tweet:

    Count wishes he Susanna had; his wife is sad, his servant mad, a mezzo plays a lusty lad. Switcheroo exposes cad, finale he admits he’s bad.

    Susannah bathes, the Elders see, and blame her; Blitch says fervently, “Repent,” but sins against her, so he’s killed by her protective bro.

  9. Charlotte Watson

    Callous West meets Mysterious East. Pinkerton sails in, sails out and sails back. Butterfly flutters no more.

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