J.C.Adams : The death of Klinghoffer

Londres, ENO, 2012 (Audio)

Director: Baldur Bronnimann



  • Alan Opie (Klinghoffer)
  • Christopher Magiera (Captain)
  • Michaela Martens (Marilyn Klinghoffer)
  • Edwin Vega (Molqui)
  • Sidney Outlaw (Rambo)Archivos para descarga:
    1. https://www.rapidshare.com/files/3655638326/Adams_DEATH_OF_KLINGHOFFER__THE__2012.03_London.rar


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 resulting murder of 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 prologue to the opera consists of two choruses, the “Chorus of Exiled Palestinians” and the “Chorus of Exiled Jews”, each of which is a general reflection about the respective peoples and their history.

Act I begins as the unnamed Captain of the Achille Lauro recalls the events of the hijacking. Prior to that, most of the passengers had disembarked in Egypt for a tour of the Pyramids, and the ship set out to sea to return later for the touring passengers. The hijackers had boarded during the disembarkation. When the hijackers commandeer the ship, the passengers still on board are collected in the ship’s restaurant. The narrative shifts to a Swiss grandmother, traveling with her grandson whilst the boy’s parents are touring the pyramids. The ship’s first officer, given the fictitious name of Giordano Bruno, informs the Captain that terrorists are on the ship and one waiter has been wounded. The Captain and First Officer try to keep the passengers calm. Molqi, one of the hijackers, explains the situation to the passengers at gunpoint. The Captain and Molqi have an encounter, where the Captain orders food and drink to be brought, and offers to let Molqi choose the food for the Captain to eat.

Following the “Ocean Chorus”, Scene 2 introduces another hijacker, Mamoud, as he keeps guard over the Captain. Mamoud recalls his youth and songs he listened to on the radio. The Captain and Mamoud have a dialogue, in which the Captain pleads that individuals on the two sides of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict could meet and try to understand each other. Mamoud dismisses this idea. During this scene is a passenger narrative by the Austrian Woman, who locked herself in her cabin and remained hidden throughout the hijacking. Act I ends with the “Night Chorus.”

Act II begins with the “Hagar Chorus”, related to the Islamic story of Hagar and the Angel, and the Biblical story of Hagar and Ishmael. It represents the beginnings of Arab-Israeli tension, of which the hijacking is one historical result. In Scene 1, Molqi is frustrated by having received no reply from ? to his demands. Mamoud threatens all of the passengers with death. Leon Klinghoffer sings, saying that he normally likes to avoid trouble and live simply and decently, but going on to denounce the hijackers. Another hijacker, called “Rambo”, responds in harsh terms about Jews and Americans. The passenger, the British Dancing Girl, recalls how well the fourth hijacker, Omar, treated her and the other passengers, for example, letting them have cigarettes. Omar sings of his desire for martyrdom for his cause. At the end of the scene, Omar and Molqi have a dispute, and Molqui takes Klinghoffer away. The “Desert Chorus” follows.

Scene 2 starts with Marilyn Klinghoffer talking about disability, illness, and death. She thinks that her husband Leon was taken to the ship’s hospital, but he was shot, off-stage. The hijackers have ordered the Captain to say they will kill another passenger every fifteen minutes. Instead, the Captain offers himself as the sole next person to be killed. Molqi appears and says that Leon Klinghoffer is dead. The “Aria of the Falling Body (Gymnopédie)”, sung by Klinghoffer, follows. The “Day Chorus” links Scene 2 to Scene 3, which occurs after the hijackers have surrendered and the surviving passengers have disembarked safely in port. The Captain remains to tell Marilyn Klinghoffer the news of about her husband’s death. She reacts with sorrow at her husband’s death and rage towards the Captain, for what she sees as his accommodation of the hijackers. Her final sentiment is that she wished that she could have died in Leon’s place.

The general style of the opera’s music resembles that of Adams’ minimalist music period, in the vein also of music by Philip Glass and Steve Reich. Intervallic relationships such as affekt are used to evoke certain emotions. The drama is portrayed primarily in long monologues by individual characters, with commentary by the chorus, which does not take part in the action.

Both Adams and Sellars have acknowledged the affinity of the opera’s dramatic structure to the sacred oratorios of Johann Sebastian Bach, in particular his Passions. The plot of the opera does not contain a detailed re-enactment of the events of the hijacking and the murder of Klinghoffer; the major events are not directly portrayed on stage and occur between the opera’s staged scenes. The artists originally considered the opera as more of a “dramatic meditation” or “reflection”, in the manner of an oratorio, rather than a conventional narrative opera driven by plot.

Based on this aspect, the opera has been criticized as undramatic and static, particularly in Act I, whereas Act II is more “conventional” in terms of operatic narrative.[2] In defence of this unconventional structure, John Ginman has analysed the particular dramaturgy and structure of the opera.[3]

The opera’s choral passages have been performed and recorded separately as Choruses from Klinghoffer.
Performance history

The opera was originally commissioned through a consortium of five opera companies, including La Monnaie, San Francisco Opera, Opéra de Lyon, Los Angeles Opera and Glyndebourne Festival Opera, as well as the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The first performance took place at the Théatre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, Belgium, on 19 March 1991, directed by Sellars.[4] The first US performance was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on 5 September 1991.[5] Because of the ensuing controversy and reaction to the subject matter and philosophy of the opera (vide infra), the Glyndebourne and Los Angeles productions did not take place. When the original production was staged at San Francisco Opera in November 1992, the Jewish Information League staged protests.[6]

The next full staging of the opera did not occur until February 2001, in Helsinki at Finnish National Opera.
The first complete UK performance was a 2002 concert in London by the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Penny Woolcock directed a British television version of the opera, in revised form, for Channel 4, with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Adams; its soundtrack was made in 2001, the telecast aired in 2003, and a DVD was released on Decca in 2004.
The first Australasian performance took place in February 2005 at the Auckland Festival, New Zealand.
The first fully staged UK production was given in August 2005 at the Edinburgh Festival by Scottish Opera.

The opera received new concert performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in December 2003, and the Curtis Institute of Music, through its Curtis Opera Theatre and Curtis Symphony Orchestra, gave a performance in Philadelphia in February 2005. Four years later, students at the Juilliard Opera Center performed a semi-staged concert version with Adams conducting.
The Death of Klinghoffer received its second full American staging in June 2011 at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, directed by James Robinson.
The opera received its first London production on 25 February 2012 at English National Opera, in a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera, which is scheduled to stage the opera in the 2014-2015 season.