The very best place to watch opera on this whole planet is Canberra.
I know because I have tried the rest.
I have been queue-jumped in the Berlin Opera. I have fallen asleep in the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
I have endured the hard, wooden seats in the sweltering Bavarian summer at Wagner's opera house in Bayreuth - the German composer designed the benches and didn't know about air-conditioning so that's what today's audience has to suffer in the interests of authenticity.
My brother once asked for a pint of beer in the interval at the Royal Opera in London and was told that "it wasn't a Welsh working man's club". In Manhattan, a New York fat cat leaned over to me in the interval and growled that I breathed too loud - I was too slow to tell him that he ate too much.
But Canberra. Ah, Canberra!
Three cinemas now broadcast opera "as live" from the major opera houses of the world - the Dendy in the Canberra Centre, the Palace Electric on Phillip Law Street and the Event cinema in Manuka.
They feature top productions and top singers from the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera, La Scala, the Paris Opera and the Berlin Staatsoper. It doesn't get better than that.
In countries on roughly the same time zone, the production is broadcast live so you get the frisson of watching a performance - will she hit that high note?
In Australia, the broadcast is delayed, usually until around midday, so you still get the excitement of a live performance but without the downsides of being in the opera house.
The seats are more comfortable (which means you can snooze if the action slows). You can take a drink in (which means you can snooze if the action slows - or even if it doesn't).
Imagine licking a chocolate-topped ice cream in Covent Garden or Opera Bastille. The Horror! Quelle Horreur!
And the people are nicer. In the rich opera houses, the un-rich feel out of place - or I do, anyway. In Canberra, we're all in it together. We ooh and ah as one.
I was brought up on opera in Old South Wales where the Welsh National Opera took the view that it was a popular art form and if ordinary people didn't come and enjoy it, something was wrong.
But that is not the feeling you get in the world's big opera houses. It's true, most offer a few cheap tickets but that usually involves early morning queuing for the privilege of perching high in the atmosphere or of standing - and I've done that, including for five hours and more through Wagner's Parsifal.
To get anything like a decent view you have to pay the earth. In Sydney, the best seats cost $327 (plus $8.50 booking fee). In New York, tickets for the Metropolitan Opera's current production of La Traviata start at just under $200 (Australian dollars) and rise to just under $700.
Compare those prices with the $25 seats in Australian cinemas for the Met's Traviata earlier this year.
It was a joy. The view was brilliant. The singing was fabulous - and in the comfort of a cinema seat. At the end, a lady I'd never met before leaned over and said, "Well, wasn't that the best thing you've ever seen!?" After some productions, the audience applauds - in the cinema.
The policy of the world's big name companies is to make the broadcast production feel live.
You get the murmur of the audience in the actual auditorium as people take their seats. In the interval at the Metropolitan Opera, the camera goes behind the curtain to watch stage hands changing sets, big props and bits of scenery being shifted in and out by hairy New York arms.
Stars are interviewed. The audience in Canberra heard Placido Domingo talk about singing Verdi.
It all adds up to a winning formula. The Royal Opera House's head of cinema operations, Edgar Kamga-Sande, told The Canberra Times about a million people watch his broadcasts in 1500 cinemas in 51 countries.
The trick to making it all work is not to make the production too glossy so it looks like a film - that would lose the sense of liveness - but not to make it too rough either - high production values but a live broadcast.
Mr Kamga-Sande said that his team didn't try to influence what happened on stage - there was no telling the singers to look in a particular direction for the cameras.
"The performance remains completely unchanged," he said.
"We watch the event unfold and try not to be in the way. We just watch a lot of rehearsals, pick up mannerisms. You can guess where they are going. The aim is to be in the right place at the right time."
And they usually are. They catch the face of the singer in grief - and you only get that kind of close-up in the big opera houses if you are in the ultra-expensive seats. It means that the audience in the cinema is likely to be more moved by the drama than those actually there.
In Canberra, people weep in the opera. I have seen it. They do. When did that happen at the Metropolitan Opera (apart from at the ticket prices?)
And, as Mr Kamga-Sande puts it, "If you are in the cinema, you have the best seat in the house."