Other than “TOMMY” by The Who, I never had much use for opera.
This outfit should be shuttered.
Thank you to Ronn Torossian for the following:
In 1985, New Yorker Leon Klinghoffer, 69, and his wife Marilyn took a cruise to celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary. Leon never came back: Four members of the Palestine Liberation Front hijacked the Achille Lauro, shot him in the head and threw him overboard in his wheelchair.
Starting in October, The Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center plans to show a mockery of this brutal murder — the long-dormant “The Death of Klinghoffer.” The title gives away the show’s agenda: Klinghoffer didn’t “die”: This World War II vet was murdered by terrorists.
The show has widely been denounced as anti-Semitic and sympathetic to the hijackers. Performances planned in Boston and elsewhere were cancelled shortly after 9/11. If it wasn’t then, what makes it acceptable now for Lincoln Center to glorify the murderers of a disabled New Yorker?
Do the so-called “humanists” at The Metropolitan Opera care that the performance will hurt Klinghoffer’s surviving children? After an initial screening of the show in 1991, his two daughters said, “We are outraged at the exploitation of our parents and the cold-blooded murder of our father as the centerpiece of a production that appears to us to be anti-Semitic.
“Moreover, the juxtaposition of the fight of the Palestinian people with the murder of an innocent, disabled American Jew is both historically naive and appalling.”
In this work of “art,” the hijacker Molqi sings: “We are / soldiers fighting a war / We are not criminals / and we are not vandals / but men of ideals.”
These lyrics fit with a recent letter from Peter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager. Gelb said, “John Adams has said that in composing ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’ he tried to understand the hijackers and their motivations, and to look for humanity in the terrorists . . .”
What humanity can — or should — be found in the murderers of innocents? When do we get an opera painting the 9/11 bombers as “men of ideals?”
On stage, hijacker Rambo says “Wherever poor men / are gathered they can / find Jews getting fat / You know how to cheat / the simple, exploit / the virgin, pollute / Where you have exploited / Defame those you cheated / and break your own law / with idolatry.” This is plain and simple anti-Semitic language.
New Yorkers of all religions, races and ethnicities should not be silent as terrorists are celebrated. Expect to see elected officials, religious leaders and others condemn The Metropolitan Opera for hosting an event which celebrates terrorists.
The Metropolitan Opera receives local, state and federal funding. Will taxpayer funds support anti-Semitism? What is the artistic value in celebrating the murder of innocents?
Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur and author who is a longtime resident of the Lincoln Center area.