A diaper fetishist confessing to his fiancee and a tap dance routine by white-hooded Ku Klux Klan members singing My Mum Used To Be My Dad would not normally be thought of as the stuff of opera. But Londoners are already clamouring for tickets to the strangest opera in town - one based on, of all things, the luridly voyeuristic Jerry Springer Show. Syndicated to worldwide television corporations the show is about outrageous behaviour and humiliation - a chance for nobodies to glory in their 15 minutes of fame at the price of laying bare their personal lives - gently egged on by the softly spoken, London-born Springer. The first half of the opera recreates a live show being filmed in a TV studio. The theme is 'secrets' and the first guests are a seemingly happy couple who snuggle up on their studio chairs. But then Jerry reminds the beau he has a secret to share. First the man confesses to an affair with his girlfriend's best friend, a crack addict, who joins them on stage, and then confesses that he has also been two-timing her with a transvestite, who also appears. Each has a song. It's authentic Jerry Springer and the genius of English composer Richard Thomas and writer Stewart Lee was to see that such confrontations make for instant opera. The lyrics are obscene with more four-letter words sung in a minute on stage than you'd hear on a building site on a sultry afternoon. The hilarity is in hearing this foul language sung by opera singers with straight faces in classical vein. The second half has Jerry Springer in hell. The Devil commands him to recreate a show with Jesus, Mary and Adam and Eve as guests. This scene is blasphemous in the extreme and it is hard to imagine the opera being performed in fundamentalist America. Some will write off Jerry Springer - The Opera as a musical. But they would be wrong. The score is a pop-classical crossover with perceptible influences from Mozart, Donizetti, and Bellini, as well as a more contemporary influence from Sondheim. Sampling from classical music is most obvious in a hilarious take on Rossini's Cat Duet. It is the first opera London's National Theatre has ever produced. Recently appointed artistic director Nicholas Hytner has vowed to bring in a new generation audience to the theatre and judging from the youthful whooping and hollering on the opening night he has got off to a good start. But it is a sign of unusual times when fresh theatre audiences can be lured by opera - normally the preserve of the rich and snobbish. As Baby Jane, a diaper fetishist, sings as she steps into the glare of international television exposure - 'This is my Jerry Springer moment. I hope this moment never ends. So dip me in chocolate and throw me to the lesbians!' Springer himself wasn't involved in the opera, but he's reported to have said he was 'honoured' by it.