New York, NY (June 17, 2014 ) — After an
outpouring of concern that its plans to transmit John Adams’s opera The
Death of Klinghoffer might be used to fan global anti-Semitism, the
Metropolitan Opera announced the decision today to cancel its Live in HD
transmission, scheduled for November 15, 2014. The opera, which premiered
in 1991, is about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship
and the murder of one of its Jewish passengers, Leon Klinghoffer, at the hands
of Palestinian terrorists.
“I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-Semitic,” said the Met’s
General Manager, Peter Gelb. “But I’ve also become convinced that there is
genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live
transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer would be inappropriate at
this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.” The final
decision was made after a series of discussions between Mr. Gelb and Abraham
Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, representing the
wishes of the Klinghoffer daughters.
In recent seasons, the Metropolitan Opera has championed contemporary
operatic masterpieces as part of its ongoing efforts to keep opera artistically
current. Previously, the Met has presented John Adams’s other two major
operas, Doctor Atomic (in 2008) and Nixon in China (in 2011).
“John Adams is one of America’s greatest composers and The Death of
Klinghoffer is one of his greatest works,” said Gelb. The Met will go
forward with its stage presentation of The Death of Klinghoffer in its
scheduled run of eight performances from October 20 to November 15. In
deference to the daughters of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer, the Met has agreed
to include a message from them both in the Met’s Playbill and on its website.
In recent years, The Death of Klinghoffer has been presented
without incident at The Juilliard School (2009), the Opera Theatre of St. Louis
(2011), and as recently as this March in Long Beach, California. The Met’s
new production was first seen in London at the English National Opera in 2012,
and received widespread critical acclaim.
image_description=Peter Gelb [Photo by Brigitte Lacombe]
product_title=The Metropolitan Opera to cancel its Live in HD transmission of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer scheduled for this fall
product_by=From The Metropolitan Opera
product_id=Above: Peter Gelb [Photo by Brigitte Lacombe]