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Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki to Lead, NYPD to Join Metropolitan Opera Protests for John Adams' 'The Death of Klinghoffer' on Opening Night

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Oct 20, 2014 10:34 AM EDT

NYPD and protestors will congregate in front of Lincoln Center for the premiere of The Metropolitan Opera's latest staging of John Adams' controversial (and equally brilliant) The Death of Klinghoffer. Joining in their voice, too, is opera advocate and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Backing Giuliani will also be former governor George Pataki and Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel. Giuliani, a longtime opera fan who started an opera club at Brooklyn's Bishop Loughlin High School and feels that Leon Klinghoffer is not adequately represented in the performance.

The Met's upcoming production, set to premiere at Lincoln Center in New York City tonight, October 20, has caught some serious heat in recent weeks, citing that Adams' masterpiece is anti-Semitic and insensitive.

For Leon Klinghoffer, who was murdered and thrown off the cruise ship Achille Lauro by four hijackers from the Palestinian Liberation Front, the production shies away from condemning the actions of the terrorists and, instead, portrays them in a, well, "more forgiving light."

The Met's general director, Peter Gelb, and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, sat down to discuss the implications of the play and both agreed that it doesn't quite fall into the realm of "anti-Semitism."

But that didn't stop Gelb from cancelling a worldwide simulcast of the performance on November 20, for which he also came under fire.

Also, at the concession of the Anti-Defamation League, Gelb will include a letter from the daughters of Mr. Klinghoffer in the playbill for the night. Whether the work is anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli is up in the air, but many believe that Adams' piece should go on as planned and unhindered.

For art's sake, the production will continue its premiere tonight as scheduled.

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TagsPeter Gelb, Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, The Metropolitan Opera, Leon Klinghoffer, Rudy Giuliani, The Death of Klinghoffer, George Pataki, Lincoln Center, John Adams, Achille Lauro, Palestinian Liberation Front, anti-Semitism