Don't know if any of you followed this story, but it is concerning on multiple levels. A Jewish Man, Leon Klinghoffer, an American citizen was on the Italian cruise ship in 1985 with his wife Marilyn. The ship was hijacked by Palestinian terrorists, and when their demands were not met, the terrorists pushed the wheelchair bound Mr. Klinghoffer into the sea to his death. There were a couple of TV movies made of the tragic events. Paul Adams, an American composer wrote an opera, "The Death of Klinghoffer." It has bee controversial for it's treatment of the Palestinian point of view.
The Met had scheduled the opera to be staged in NY this coming season, and a live simulcast of one performance at movie theaters around the world (66 countries) as part of its upcoming HD season. The Klinghoffer daughters and the Anti-defamation League protested on the grounds of the content promoting antisemitism. The Met caved, and cancelled the simulcast. (Note: The Met is in financial trouble and wants to renegotiate its union contracts, etc. as per a recent full page ad in the NYT).
Being in Southern California, I subscribe to the HD series, and am stunned at this decision by the Met. To me it is bowing to censorship, and sets a dangerous precedent.
Shall we evaluate all art in the US through the prism of a potential adverse reflection on Israel, or that it could be interpreted as antisemitic? Ban the Merchant of Venice, as Shylock is not an admirable character? What of Othello, the Moor? Are Traviata, Figaro, Cinderella, Valkeryie at risk? Schumann....Hitler liked Schumann. The Ring Cycle, Das Rheingold?
Tellingly, some of the people from the Anti-defamation league who pressured the Met had never seen the production, nor read the libretto.....Have we come to a place where all that is required to quash an artistic work is a statement that something is antisemitic, racist, sexist, antigay.....? Gee, doesn't that sound like condemnation of art by in the Third Reich?
When condemn and ban art based on presumption and hearsay, we are no better. And then, where are we?