Comes the news this morning that the Metropolitan Opera has cancelled its HD simulcast of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer on the ground that it may offend some viewers, or be used by anti-Semites to do so.
Peter Gelb, the Met’s General Manager, is quoted:
“I’m convinced that the opera is not anti-semitic, but I’ve also become convinced that there is genuine concern in the international Jewish community that the live transmission of The Death of Klinghoffer would be inappropriate at this time of rising anti-Semitism, particularly in Europe.”
Probing further, the international Jewish community that apparently is deciding what art we see and what art we don’t consists of Leon Klinghoffer’s two surviving daughters. They don’t like the work. “Its rationalisation of terrorism and false moral equivalencies provide no thoughtfulness or insight,” they say.
Well, I like the work, and have ever since the first words were sung onstage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1991. And I will buy a ticket and see this production, unless the daughters further prevent it. But honestly, what a world! A cellist in Chicago and two individual objectors have the influence to cancel a Ring Cycle or ban John Adams’ music from being heard by a global audience. Slap me, somebody; I must be dreaming.