New opera is too safe. Even Thomas AdÃ¨sâ€™ end-of-the-pier blowjob bored me. Ninety years earlier, I am sure that Straussâ€™ Salome shocked people more than Powder Her Face ever did â€“ though admittedly the AdÃ¨sâ€™ probably has a greater sense of fun. But have you seen contemporary opera in Britain and been shocked, unnerved, outraged, or even just a little pissed off? Probably not; I havenâ€™t. All the other contemporary arts have had anarchic movements and anti-establishment manifestos, from Futurism to Dadaism to the â€˜Post Porn Modernist Manifestoâ€™. But not opera. New opera still seems shackled to the corpse of the old; â€œdead, repetitive, predictable, prettyâ€, according to Robert Thicknesse in The Guardian. Most modern art rails against conservatism; is new opera its last bastion?