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date: 09 July 2020

Death of Klinghoffer, Thelocked

  • Laura Macy


Opera in prologue and two acts by John Adams to a libretto by Alice Goodman based on historical events surrounding the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in 1985; Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, 19 March 1991.

The première was conducted by Kent Nagano, with James Maddalena as the Captain, Sanford Sylvan as Klinghoffer, Thomas Hammons as both the First Officer and ‘Rambo’ and Stephanie Friedman as Omar.

The opera is a retelling of the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro, which lasted for two days, 7–9 October 1985, and in which one passenger, Leon Klinghoffer was murdered by the hijackers. The story is told both in ‘real time’ with events unfolding on the ship, and in the witness accounts told after the fact. The real-time action is centred on the hijackers themselves and the Klinghoffers, each of whom (with the exception of Marilyn Klinghoffer) voice a perspective on the religious and political conflicts that form the backdrop to the events....

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