October 28, 2014

Controversy Over Metropolitan Opera Presentation of "The Death of Klinghoffer"

The Metropolitan Opera has moved ahead with a presentation of John Adams' opera The Death of Klinghoffer despite many protests that the work glorifies anti-Semitism. Here's an account from the New York Times. The New Yorker first covered such objections back in June. Here's a link to the Met website for the piece. Here's a review from the New Yorker.

Leon Klinghoffer was murdered by Palestinian terrorists during a hijacking in 1985 aboard the cruise ship the Achille Lauro. The terrorists forced two crew members to throw his body overboard in the waters off Syria. The Syrians eventually recovered his body and returned it to the United States.

A DVD of The Death of Klinghoffer is available from Decca. Singers include Sanford Sylvan, Christopher Maltman, and Yvonne Howard. The composer conducts the London Symphony Orchestra.

The story has also been filmed as Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair, starring Burt Lancaster and Eva Marie Saint (1990).

On the events during and after the hijacking see

Michael K. Bohn, The Achille Lauro Hijacking: Lessons in the Politics and Prejudice of Terrorism (Potomac Books, 2004).

Antonio Cassese, Terrorism, Politics, and Law: The Achille Lauro Affairs (Princeton University Press, 1989).

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