Whatever the forms and sources of a particular opera house's funding, worldwide the language of audit culture-'box office receipts', 'central overheads', 'overheads for maintenance and utilities’, 'performance-related costs’, 'aims and aspirations', 'enhancement funding', 'less VAT'—has become a prominent addition to existing multilingual discourses on music, text and drama, and one which confirms, rather than challenges, opera as 'museum culture'* underwrites opera as cost and efficiency conscious 'auratic' art within 'the culture industry'. 'Museum culture' refers to all aspects of the exhibition and consumption of 'high' art, and thus to much that will be discussed in subsequent chapters, but with reference to opera, the phrase is applied most frequently to repertoire content: the narrow and repetitive concentration on a small proportion of largely nineteenth century works by a small select band of composers. There is not complete stagnation: new operas are written, although they rarely find their way on to the world's main stages;2 lesser known works are 'rediscovered' although these are usually by composers
who are already known;3 and sub-genres such as baroque and prebaroque are unearthed,* but the exhibits are largely known and familiar. Curators busily reorganise, redisplay and recatalogue, creating an impression of 'newness', conferring on producers in particular the responsibility and power of reimposing the ideology of opera as 'high living art' on the duly, albeit at times, enraged but awe-inspired.