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International Twitter War Becomes An Opera

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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.

(SOUNDBITE OF HABANERA FROM OPERA "CARMEN")

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.

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