Despite opera's place in the universe as a dividing line between the cultured and those of us who are actually having a good time, it has now been claimed by some impoverished economics students that it is, actually, the opposite of money.
Listen, they explain, money buys you things, the more money you have the more people like you and, their voices lowering to a conspiratorial whisper, money is completely silent.
Physicists, not to miss out on a good thing and a chance to appear on chat shows and disagree with economists, argue that this is due to super-symmetry – the unproven idea that everything that exists must have an opposing object or concept to keep the universe in harmony. Opera and money exist in a state of perpetual and perfect balance, the more opera there is at any given time the more money must be in the economy to support it so therefore the less money the less opera.
Seizing this theory by both axioms the sprawling artist commune planet of Sangria Theta devoted the next ten years to the staging of the most prolific opera festival ever, thus making the planet and the layabout artists who inhabited it extremely rich.
This resulted in two things, once the festival was over the populace of Sangria Theta were shocked to realise that all the stunningly beautiful mountains and trees they had relied on for inspiration were now buried under enormous spaceports, and secondly that their entire culture had been transformed into bars full of lonely drunks muttering to themselves about the fundamental nature of property and why more of it didn't belong to them.
As an aside, the rest of the galaxy, now fed up with opera and the extortionate prices the Sangrians had charged for everything, fell into massive economic collapse.
Then, out of the blue, a young economist who was revising for a blood test, suddenly came up with a solution. If, he reasoned, opera and money created each other then announcing an opera festival for next year would force the economy to recover and thus allow everyone to get on with their lives. The clever bit was to cancel the festival as soon as there was enough money to pay for it and then spend the cash on something else, such as tearing down the spaceports on Sangria Theta and returning the planet to its former glory.
Ecologists loved the idea and ran with it. The use of opera futures as a tool to reduce pollution and suffering became commonplace and highly effective, which is why all charity events begin with the announcement of a gala ball that is inexplicably cancelled at the last minute and why the tickets are so incredibly expensive.