Thursday, October 23, 2014

Noah, Klinghoffer and Intoxicating Tragedies

In 1862 a reviewer wrote the following about Victor Hugo’s publication of Les Miserables: “One cannot read without unconquerable disgust all the details Monsieur Hugo gives regarding the successful planning of riots.” And yet most people describe the Broadway production of “Les Miserables” to be among their favorites. It is a remarkable show. 150 years after the Paris Uprising of 1832, or depending on your perspective the June Rebellion, with no allegiances to either side in that struggle standing among us, we are afforded the luxury of historical perspective. We can more easily judge the artist’s work.

This is among the challenges confronting us when evaluating the production of John Adam’s opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Not only is thirty years insufficient time to grant us an objective, historical view, but the struggle continues. Palestinian terrorists remain our enemies. The memory of a painful summer of war still haunts us. We do not see a death, but murder.

And yet I decided to evaluate the opera....

No comments: