Operagasm Review Rundown: Met’s The Death of Klinghoffer
Everybody has an opinion about the Met’s performance of The Death of Klinghoffer, from ardent support to loathing disdain (even though the majority of them haven’t even seen the production). Well, Anthony Tomasinni of the New York Times comes to our aid with an informed opinion of a person who actually sat through opening night and will now enlighten us all in Operagasm’s Review Rundown!
The Modern Day Rite of Spring?: “There were, as anticipated, hundreds of protesters assembled near Lincoln Center Plaza who denounced the work as anti-Semitic and sympathetic to terrorists. Though people had threatened to disrupt the opera, the performance went on with only two real interruptions, along with some scattered bursts of chanting and booing.”
The opera itself: “This is one of Mr. Adams’s most inspired and personal scores, with episodes of haunting, hazy music where, over subdued, ominous, sustained bass tones in the orchestra, instruments spin out elegiac melodic lines full of ancient-sounding curlicues. And Ms. Goodman’s poetic libretto, though often enigmatic, is powerfully so. Portions of the text remind me of Elizabeth Bishop’s poems, which can seem profound and full of richly detailed imagery even when the meaning is obscure.”
The controversy spans TWO continents: ”The staging by the acclaimed British director Tom Morris, in his Met debut, is a coproduction with the English National Opera in London, where it was introduced in 2012. While trying to maintain some of the metaphoric ambiguity of the opera, this production tells the story more literally and in greater historical detail. I can understand why Mr. Morris took this approach, which has both advantages and disadvantages.”
In summation: ”Though there were some boos mixed in, the ovations at the end were tremendous, especially for the beaming Mr. Adams. The audience seemed grateful for the chance to actually see this opera, instead of just hearing about it.”