"The Death of Klinghoffer'' is about the murder of a disabled Jewish man by Palestinian extremist. The Metropolitan Opera House’s opening night of 1991 opera The Death of Klinghoffer received a standing ovation in New York City Monday. But the noise made by crowds outside of Lincoln Center before the curtain rose may have rivaled the cheers inside the opera house.
The Death of Klinghoffer is an American opera, with music by John Adams to an English-language libretto by Alice Goodman. First produced in Brussels and New York in 1991, the opera is based on the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the hijackers' murder of wheelchair-bound Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer.
The concept of the opera originated with theatre director Peter Sellars, who was a major collaborator, as was the choreographer Mark Morris. It was commissioned by five American and European opera companies, as well as the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The opera has drawn controversy, including allegations that the opera is antisemitic, by the Klinghoffer family and others, while its creators and some others have disputed certain of the criticisms of it.