[Met chief Peter] Gelb’s non-Solomonic decision [to nix the TV broadcast but go ahead with the stage production] seems a slap in the face to New York City, site of the murder of some 3,000 people, all of them as vulnerable and disarmed as Leon Klinghoffer.
But a larger question will remain long after the dust settles. As the Middle East grows more inflamed and dangerous by the hour, and its atrocities become part of 24-hour news cycle, why this opera, and why now? At the Met, as on the battlefield, good timing usually brings victory. Bad timing, on the other hand, can ruin an opera, and wreck a reputation.In the era of jihad busting out all over, we're all Klinghoffers, and claiming there's no difference between terrorists and the victims of terrorism is apt to be a much tougher (and certainly a much more repellent) sell.