It all started on Twitter a while back, the brainchild of blogger and Tweeter The Omniscient Mussel, and has now grown into something of a phenomenon. Opera houses around the world, including New York’s the Met, Opera Australia, and over here Opera North and Grange Park, have all pitched in ticket prizes.

Glyndebourne is even offering two top price tickets to Giulio Cesare (starring Ms de Niese) and a bottle of champagne. The soprano (currently rehearsing for the Handel), a recent Twitterer herself, has agreed to judge the contest.

Past entries have included a summary of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, in the form of a set of tennis scores and the last winner (whose prize was a little more modest than those now on offer) wrapped-up La bohème as “Seamstress pals around with bohemians in a December-May affair Receives muff as parting gift.”

Who said being an opera fan can’t be fun?

The competition starts on Monday 27 April and you can get full details at www.theomniscientmussel.com

- Simon Thomas