I am pleased to read that Anna Netrebko has gone ahead with her Austrian citizenship. It is also pleasing to realize that Austria still values music so much that it grants citizenship so easily.
Though I said opera is not a newsreel, I am aware that this is something of a goal for the minimalists. I think stories can come from reality, even present day reality, but I think the story has to stand alone.
My own ideas are evolving. I'm trying to decide what the path forward for opera is, and I feel very concerned that the powerful people in this field are generally misguided when it comes to new operas. Read the Cambridge companion to twentieth-century opera and notice how few of these operas you have actually seen or are ever likely to see.
I'm convinced that the singer plays a much larger role in determining what operas become standard than is ever realized. Golijov writes for Dawn Upshaw. This is a very smooth move. Find a singer you love and write an opera that will make her a star. It will work.