In NY Times and Streets of New York, Klinghoffer Opera Controversy Continues

This morning, The New York Times published an article in its music section, “Met’s ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Remains a Lightning Rod.” Defending and rationalizing the company’s production, The Times only gets around to presenting any critical view of the opera in paragraph seventeen of the article when quoting the daughters of terror victim Leon Klinghoffer who wrote, “It rationalizes, romanticizes, and legitimizes the terrorist murder of our father.”

The article then resumes its justifications for the antisemitic piece and derides critics and protesters before finally pointing out that “A look at the Met’s website suggested that ticket sales for ‘Klinghoffer’ have been sluggish.”

While The Times article notes that its current opera critic acclaims “Klinghoffer,” the paper is silent on its own original panning of the work as not very good art, let alone controversial.

As CAMERA reported,
the music is mediocre and unremarkable except for the propagandistic way it’s used by Adams to underscore words of the Palestinian hijackers. This was pointed out by the eminent American musicologist Richard Taruskin in a New York Times article strongly condemning the Adams opera, “Music’s Dangers And The Case For Control” (Dec. 9, 2001).

Playbill has reported that

The Metropolitan Opera has canceled its scheduled talk for the The Death of Klinghoffer, the controversial opera protested in September.

The event, which had been scheduled for Oct. 15, would have featured directors and stars of the production of John Adams’ work, which is scheduled for eight performances in October and November.

In an e-mail sent to patrons who RSVP’d for the talk, the Met wrote, “We regret to inform you that, because of a scheduling conflict, the MetTalk for The Death of Klinghoffer, planned for October 15, has had to be cancelled. There are four additional MetTalks throughout the season. For a full schedule, visit We appreciate your understanding. Thank you, The Metropolitan Opera.”

Having cancelled the live international simulcast of the obscene opera “because of concerns that it could fan global anti-Semitism,” The Met continues to downplay the production while refusing nonetheless to cancel it altogether. The community has staged protests and Jewish leaders and organizations have united against the production, but The Met and General Manager Peter Gelb refuse to rethink their decision.

Despite this intransigence, anti-“Klinghoffer” activism continues. Monday, Oct. 20, at 6:00 pm, the day The Met premieres the first of eight performances of the production, there will be another protest outside Lincoln Center according to the Facebook page, “Rally against ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Opera – Opening Night” and the Web site “”

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