A few dozen more bought tickets so they could bring their indignation indoors. One was arrested; the rest have now actually seen the opera and can criticize it with authority. It was a tense night. Audience members shouted and shushed; a few pushed past others to stomp up the aisles.
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At center, Alan Opie, in wheelchair, and Michaela Martens. When the arts play with contemporary history, they play with fire. Much of the language is retrospective in gaze and melancholy in tone. Adams and Ms. Goodman have been accused of being insensitive, anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic in a work that gives a voice often a beautiful one to terrorists and suggests an explanation though not an excuse for their actions in the vexed history of the Palestinian people through centuries. Adams conducted a concert performance at the Juilliard School in , attracting little protest.
A staging at the Opera Theater of St. Louis in was an occasion less for demonstrations than for interfaith dialogue. Adams said by phone recently.
Chang W. But Mr. As opening night approaches, there are serious concerns that the performance will be disrupted. The situation is a reminder that the Met and its imprimatur retain a unique position in the performing arts, just as New York retains a unique position in the Jewish diaspora.
Some of the intensity of those early responses can be traced to a scene that was included in the original version of the opera. Set in suburban New Jersey, the long sequence depicted the fictional Rumor family, Jewish friends of the Klinghoffers, babbling and bickering in a mode that served as a satire of American bourgeois materialism and as a lighter counterpoint to the sobriety that surrounded it.
While Mr. They soon cut the Rumor scene, but the impression has proved stubborn that the opera juxtaposes for effect the supposed triviality of Jews — and American Jews in particular — with the deeper, if doubtless violent, longings of the Palestinian characters. These are outdated talking points, but many of those most offended by the opera seem not to have seen or heard it; they seem more familiar with out-of-context quotations from the libretto or old articles peddled by interest groups.
Years after the passage was excised, the musicologist Richard Taruskin again invoked it in a essay in The New York Times that offered a selective reading of the score, accusing Mr.
Other scholars, Mr. Sellars put it in a phone interview.
Data Protection Choices
Photograph: Tristram Kenton If all the media uproar about opera last week was to be believed, you could hardly venture forth into the auditorium without wearing a bullet-proof vest or declaring a taste for red-knicker satin, sluttish nymphettes and king-sized perverted cats, though not all at the same time or in the same place. Who would have predicted that two polar-opposite operas could have provoked such paradoxical responses? Genuine anxiety hovered over the first night. Protests seemed inevitable. Instead there was one man, one placard outside. The performance passed without incident and the mood was, if anything, curiously subdued. Several people left.
The Death of Klinghoffer
At center, Alan Opie, in wheelchair, and Michaela Martens. When the arts play with contemporary history, they play with fire. Much of the language is retrospective in gaze and melancholy in tone. Adams and Ms. Goodman have been accused of being insensitive, anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic in a work that gives a voice often a beautiful one to terrorists and suggests an explanation though not an excuse for their actions in the vexed history of the Palestinian people through centuries.
The evening was met with protests from various conservative organizations outside and jeers from some audience members inside who denounced the opera and called for it to be banned from the stage, declaring that the work is a glorification of terrorism and a tool of anti-Semitism. Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League ADL , recently insinuated that the opera would inspire extremists across the world to commit hateful acts. In the midst of a serious funding crisis , the Met bowed to pressure from the ADL and several major donors earlier this year and said they would refrain from simulcasting high-definition performances of the opera in theaters across the world. Giuliani was in opposition to the public subsidizing of what he and the Catholic diocese deemed unsavory and sacriligious art.