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Tenors & Terrorists
Protesters Decry Staging of Klinghoffer on Met's Opening Night

Tonight, the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera’s season, several Jewish groups and notable supporters have turned out to protest the company’s staging of the controversial The Death Of Klinghoffer. The NYT reports:

Several Jewish groups are planning a protest outside the Met [on opening night] to call on the company to cancel its performances of John Adams’s 1991 opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which is set to have its Met premiere next month. […]

The “Klinghoffer” protests have been brewing for months. In June, Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, scrapped plans to transmit “Klinghoffer” live to movie theaters around the world this fall after Jewish groups raised objections to the opera, which depicts a 1985 cruise ship hijacking by members of the Palestine Liberation Front, and the killing of a disabled Jewish American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer. Now some groups want the opera canceled altogether.

Rabbi Avi Weiss, of the Hebrew Institute of Riverdale, in the Bronx, led a small group in prayers for Mr. Klinghoffer on Monday morning in a small park across from Lincoln Center. […] “I truly believe that his soul is being desecrated by the Met,” he said. “It’s being desecrated, and we’re out here, outdoors, to study Torah, to offer prayers in his memory to sanctify his soul.”

According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, former NY Governor George Pataki and former Attorney General Michael Mukasey will participate, and a letter written by the father of Daniel Pearl will be read at the protests.

For more background on this opera, which includes blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric spouted by terrorists who are portrayed semi-sympathetically, see Eve Epstein’s trenchant essay on the subject for TAI. As she puts it:

In The Death of Klinghoffer, propaganda masquerades as artistic expression. This so-called musical masterpiece flirts with incitement to violence and traffics in hate speech, while terrorism is romanticized. An alarm must be sounded loudly and clearly enough to pierce all moral obfuscation.

Met Opera sponsors such as Bloomberg, the Toll Brothers, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Neubauer Family Foundation, should not wish to be associated with such a morally bankrupt production.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • Peter

    Shame on the Met for presenting such tripe.

  • Josephbleau

    The Met will rue the day they fell victim to the trope of great bad equals little bad. This is “Springtime for Hitler” without the satire, they really believe that “Springtime for killing innocent Jews” will sell, what foul people.

  • Duperray

    The world seems to be upside down: Socialisms gave birth to communism in 1920’s, which developed itself into a 70 year long tyranny, chasing religions, downgrading morality while infecting rest of the world with propaganda, uncapping local latent conflicts by destabilization, arming local terrorists: Cuba, Central/South Americas, Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia, Timor, Sri Lanka,… During that time western world was trying to resist these attempts.
    Now, New Leftist born in California propagate their add-on morality destruction, religion destruction, education destruction (ex: “gender theory”), detroying youngsters’ dreams and so on.
    Irony is that West after fighting the socialist-Evil is now absorbing a worst brewed socialist-Evil….
    Where is logic? Lessons from History?
    Hitler and Staline would be jubilant

  • lukelea

    Sounds like a ridiculous idea for an Opera in the first place. Why is anyone staging it, let alone the Met? Or is it the artistic equivalent of Nero electing a horse in the Roman Senate?

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