Shame on you Metropolitan Opera

Sometimes you need to dispense with the pleasantries and cut to the chase. Although we should always remain civil, the fineries of such conversation can sometimes obfuscate or dilute an important message. Such is the case of the Metropolitan Opera and its production of “The Death of Klinghoffer.”

This production of “Klinghoffer” is nothing more than an affront to us all. It is not art; it is a loathsome expression of the worst of humanity masquerading as art. It glorifies murder, terrorism, Anti-Semitism, all set to music. The Met should know better and we must demand more of this institution that has permitted its reputation to be compromised by staging this contemptible crap.

I have expressed this opinion directly to the Met.  Despite my love of this venerated institution and the extraordinary productions I have been privileged to attend in the past, I will not patronize the Met if “Klinghoffer” is performed. In good conscience, I cannot do otherwise.

In an open letter to Peter Gelb, the General Manager of the Met, rabbinic colleagues expressed their disappointment and dismay at the decision to perform “Klinghoffer.”  However I am neither disappointed or dismayed; I am outraged and flabbergasted by the betrayal of one of the great world institutions of art. I do not understand how the Met could be persuaded by any argument on the merits of “Klinghoffer”, for the production of “Klinghoffer” or how “Klinghoffer” could have any social value whatsoever.

I may not sound as polite or circumspect as my esteemed rabbinic colleagues, but sometimes such a response is inadequate. Sometimes a stern voice is needed to express outrage at the outrageous.

 

One thought on “Shame on you Metropolitan Opera

  1. Joel Duman

    David,
    I looked into this issue a bit several months ago. I’m not following the story enough to know the timeline of the present controversy. in my own looking at the issue, I found a lot of confusion about the intentions of the composer and librettist – and for that matter if the two are of one mind. One article, by Robert Fink entitled Klinghoffer in Brooklyn Heights (Cambridge Opera Journal 17, 2 (2005), 173–213), tried to derive positive conclusions from the music itself and found that the tone was not stereotyping one group or the other as “good” or “bad”. I’d like to hear your understanding of the issues at greater length.
    best
    Joel Duman

    Reply

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