Art And Terror in the Same Boat

The Death of Klinghoffer avoids politics but takes no prisoners

Few operas in history have been as instantly controversial as The Death of ! Klinghoffer. To begin with, the subject matter is politically incendiary: the brutal 1985 murder of a wheelchair-using American Jew by Palestinian terrorists aboard the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. Further, the opera is the second collaboration by composer John Adams, librettist Alice Goodman, choreographer Mark Morris and director Peter Sellars -- the people behind Nixon in China. That dazzling 1987 opera left a trail of argument in its wake as it made its way across America and Europe. Surely, Klinghoffer would be even more provocative than its...

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