Metropolitan Opera New York

The Metropolitan Opera has canceled the live broadcast of John Adams’s ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’, citing concerns that it could boast anti-Semitism. The opera shows a 1985 cruise-ship hijacking and the murder of a Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, by Palestinian terrorists. General Manager Peter Gelb said he didn’t believe the 1991 opera was anti-Semitic but added that he was aware of “great concern, which I think is justified,” about “anything that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as pro-terrorist.” However the piece will be staged as planned at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, with eight performances in October and November.

Gelb’s meanwhile heavily criticized decision came after a discussion with members of the Anti-Defamation League, which represented the concerns of Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer. The Met agreed to include a message from the daughters in its playbill and on its website. On the Anti-Defamation League’s website, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer said the opera romanticizes the murder of their father. “We are strong supporters of the arts, and believe that theater and music can play a critical role in examining and understanding significant world events. ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ does no such thing.”

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