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7 items from 2014


The 10 Best Classical Performances of 2014

11 December 2014 10:00 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

This week, Vulture will be publishing our critics' year-end lists. 1. Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Metropolitan Opera The Met had a rough year: the threat of a strike, conflict over the allegedly terrorist-loving The Death of Klinghoffer, and a nauseating deficit ($22 million!). But once the curtain goes up, such trivial problems fade in favor of much worse ones, like those playing out in Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. In Graham Vick’s long-absent vintage production, the soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek made killing your husband, banging his employee, poisoning his father, and going on a death march to Siberia into a hugely entertaining evening.2. St. Matthew Passion, Peter Sellars and the Berlin Philharmonic Sellars reconfigured both the Park Avenue Armory and Bach’s oratorio, performing the piece in the round and bringing out the intimate human currents in a monumental, scriptural score. Led by Simon Rattle, it was also terrific theater. 3. Salome, »

- Justin Davidson

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Director of Met Opera's 'Death of Klinghoffer' on Protests: "It Invites an Audience to Think"

22 October 2014 12:32 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

When director Peter Sellars and composer John AdamsThe Death of Klinghoffer had its initial runs in Brussels and New York in 1991, it caused a sensation and a furor. The subject matter, still fresh in the public consciousness, was the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro by the Palestinian Liberation Front, and the ruthless murder of 69-year-old Jewish —and wheelchair-bound — passenger Leon Klinghoffer. Considering, for instance, that the aftermath of the public uproar left talented librettist Alice Goodman virtually unable to work, the piece languished for two decades, with major opera houses

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- Ken Scrudato

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Opera Review: The Death of Klinghoffer Is Best Performed As a Concert

21 October 2014 7:45 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Can you measure the vigor of an art form by its ability to stir up loathing? Last night’s Metropolitan Opera premiere of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer suggested that audiences still respond to opera with passionate disagreements — at least when the opera deals with the Palestinian hijacking of a cruise ship and the murder of one of its passengers. Groups who believe it’s anti-Semitic and want it yanked from the stage mustered a few hundred protesters (surely not thousands, as has been reported), who were penned by police on a traffic island. A few dozen more bought tickets so they could bring their indignation indoors. One was arrested; the rest have now actually seen the opera and can criticize it with authority.It was a tense night. Audience members shouted and shushed; a few pushed past others to stomp up the aisles. I was waiting for »

- Justin Davidson

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Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani Among Protestors Outside ‘The Death of Klinghoffer’

21 October 2014 7:04 AM, PDT | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

The show must go on, even if the city's former mayor is protesting outside. Also read: Pat Robertson: Jews Are Too Busy ‘Polishing Diamonds’ to Tinker With Cars, Mow Lawns That's what happened Monday in New York, as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and about 400 protestors camped outside Lincoln Center to protest the opening of “The Death of Klinghoffer.” Also read: Catholic League President Rants Over Gays, Jews in Hollywood During Explosive CNN Interview The docu-opera depicts a Jewish man taken hostage on a cruise ship by Palestinian terrorists in 1985 and ultimately thrown overboard. Protestors outside–many in wheelchairs to portray wheelchair-bound Klinghoffer–shouted. »

- Jordan Chariton

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The Trouble With Klinghoffer Isn’t Quite What You Think

21 October 2014 4:30 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

This piece originally ran on Sept. 21, 2014. Last night, The Death of Klinghoffer opened at the Met and was met, as predicted with protesters outside the auditorium — including former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani — and hecklers inside. Justin Davidson will have a full review of the opera later today. Will an opera about terrorists ever not be timely? Can The Death of Klinghoffer ever stop incandescing? John Adams’s work had its premiere in 1991, when the events it was based on — the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of an American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer — were still raw memories. In the years that followed, occasional new productions and weekly bursts of lethal fanaticism kept reactivating the arguments about the opera. Now that it’s finally coming to the Metropolitan Opera, Palestinian hijackers seem almost to belong to another era, before 9/11, »

- Justin Davidson

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Protests at Met Premiere of 'The Death of Klinghoffer'

20 October 2014 11:43 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

The New York Metropolitan Opera's first performance of The Death of Klinghoffer was met with vociferous protests Monday as demonstrators including former New York City mayor Rudy Giuiliani gathered outside the Lincoln Center to denounce the performance as anti-Israel and anti-Semitic.  John Adams' opera Klinghoffer has proved controversial from its very first performances in 1991. The subject matter is based upon the 1985 murder of the wheelchair bound Jewish-American Leon Klinghoffer by members of the Palestine Liberation Front after they had hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro.  Composer Adams addressed the controversy shortly before the West Coast premiere of Klinghoffer at

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- Abid Rahman

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The Muddled Logic of the Met’s Death of Klinghoffer Pullback

18 June 2014 8:30 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

All over Europe, people who had no idea that the Metropolitan Opera was planning to broadcast its new production of John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer in November have just discovered that it won’t. The opera, which deals with the terrorist hijacking of a Mediterranean cruise ship and the murder of an American Jew, Leon Klinghoffer, has been dogged by accusations of anti-Semitism ever since its 1991 premiere. There will be time when the production opens at the Met in the fall to chew over the work’s politics and prejudice. For now, the company’s general manager, Peter Gelb, prodded by the Anti-Defamation League, has decided that (a) no, it’s not anti-Semitic; (b) it’s a masterpiece; (c) it’s perfectly fine for the Met to perform it for its heavily Jewish audience (and donors); and yet (d) actually, it might be better if European audiences didn’t get another look, »

- Justin Davidson

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

7 items from 2014


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