Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

International Twitter War Becomes An Opera

Jan 11, 2013
Originally published on January 11, 2013 5:35 am
Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


And today's last word in business is being set to music. Truth really is stranger than fiction, which is how a TV interview with President Richard Nixon could become a famous play, and how The New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright could create a forthcoming play on the Camp David accords. Now, an international Twitter war is becoming an opera.


Last summer, The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman criticized the economic austerity of Estonia.

INSKEEP: The Estonian president, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, was furious.

MONTAGNE: He went on Twitter to declare, quote, "Let's write about something we know nothing about and be smug, overbearing and patronizing." More presidential tweets followed - some, laced with profanity.

INSKEEP: Now, a composer and a financial journalist have teamed up to produce an opera based on this exchange. The verbal fireworks can now be sung - something like, you know, (Singing) You're overbearing, patronizing, you know nothing....

MONTAGNE: (LAUGHTER) Well, it will only last 15 minutes, though, when it premieres in Estonia this April.


INSKEEP: Oh, that's beautiful. And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.