Peter Gelb backs down on global showing of John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer.

The Metropolitan Opera has cancelled its plans for a live, global broadcast of John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghofferthis November amidst concerns that it could encourage anti-Semitism. The transmission of the production, due to be conducted by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra’s Chief Conductor David Robertson, was to have gone out to around 2,000 theatres in over 60 countries.

In a statement, the company’s embattled General Manager Peter Gelb said that he had “received hundreds of emails over the past 10 days calling on him to cancel the transmission” of Adams’ opera, which depicts the 1985 hijacking of the cruise-ship Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, a wheelchair-bound American Jewish passenger by Palestinian terrorists. Gelb said that he didn’t believe the 1991 opera was anti-Semitic but was aware of “great concern, which I think is justified,” about “anything that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as pro-terrorist… I have to be sensitive to that”.

Meanwhile, John Adams has issued a statement in which he takes exception to the Met’s decision. “My opera accords great dignity to the memory of Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer, and...

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