Britain's Royal Opera House (ROH) wants Twitter users to help create the world's first online opera.

The Covent Garden institution, which stages performances of ballet, opera and other classical music productions wants Internet-savvy tweeters to write the words to an opera using 140 characters or less at a time.

It's the people's opera and the perfect way for everyone to become involved with the inventiveness of opera as the ultimate form of storytelling, Alison Duthie, Head of ROH2, the arm of the ROH in charge of developing original projects said in a statement.

Duthie told Reuters on Tuesday that the most dramatic moments of the opera will be performed as part of the Deloitte Ignite festival in September and said the experiment aimed to debunk notions of opera as stuffy and traditional.

People make assumptions about who we are, and it is a case of just getting past those barriers, Duthie said. We hope to demystify opera.

Twitter, the online micro-blogging site used by celebrities and less well-known people to broadcast their thoughts to followers over the Internet in bursts of text 140 characters or less has become a sensation on the web.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Royal Opera piece can sign up and start writing at

So far only Act One, Scene One has been completed with the character William languishing in a tower, having been kidnapped by a group of birds bent on revenge after he has killed one of their number, according to a link on the Twitter site: .

The first few lines of the opera show the difficulty of stringing together the submissions into a coherent story.

A small bird twitters over there, He sings without a single care, If only we could be so free, Without the worries and the... concerns of a nihilist. I would bring you flowers, but they would die. I would love you, but, why?

(Editing by Paul Casciato)