An increasingly popular genre of Science Fiction. The term is largely self explanatory in that a space opera is a drama that is simply put in the context of science fiction. Although it can be "hard" science fiction, space operas typically focus on the characters to a point where the actual setting (space obviously, but more specifically, a technological future) is largely unimportant.
Have you seen Cowboy Bebop or that new Battlestar Galactica show?
No, I've never been a fan of space operas.