“The Met’s choice to proceed with this performance, which will undoubtedly cause further pain to the Klinghoffer family, who lost Leon Klinghoffer to this horrific murder, is wholly insensitive and beyond the pale.”
The Associated Press reported that the actual performance went ahead with a few orchestrated disruptions: Boos were shouted from scattered seats, and a voice kept yelling from a balcony, “The murder of Klinghoffer will never be forgotten!”
The AP reported that any heckling after the show was drowned out by an ovation from the audience, which included Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Met, which canceled the opera’s international movie theater and radio broadcasts amid pressure from Jewish groups,issued a statement this week saying “the fact that ‘Klinghoffer’ grapples with the complexities of an unconscionable real-life act of violence does not mean it should not be performed. … ‘Klinghoffer’ is neither anti-Semitic nor does it glorify terrorism.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who hasn’t seen the opera, said the rights of cultural institutions to put on works of art have to be respected.
“We don’t have to agree with what’s in the exhibit, but we agree with the right of the artist and the cultural institution to put that forward to the public,” he said.
(JTA, INN, Jewish Press staff)