A firestorm over the New York premiere of an opera exploring terrorism reportedly didn’t stop Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg from attending on Monday night, even as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani protested outside.
Met officials counted Ginsberg among the attendees at the Metropolitan Opera’s first performance of “The Death of Klinghoffer,” a work exploring the roots of the Palestinian terrorists who murdered American Leon Klinghoffer in 1985, according to the New York Times.
Outrage over the subject matter of the opera, which was first commissioned in 1991, attracted big-name politicians like Giuliani and Rep. Pete King (R-NY), who joined the protests of Jewish groups and religious conservatives at Lincoln Center on opening night.
Before joining the demonstrations, Giuliani wrote in the Daily Beast that the opera contained “sympathetic justifications for this pure act of terror.” He also said it contributed to problems in the Middle East peace process itself, which was “based on a false premise of moral equivalency and a romanticizing of terrorism.”
In addition to the crowds outside, the performance itself was heckled twice despite applause for the composer, John Adams, the Times reported:
By the time opera ended, with a roar of cheers when Mr. Adams took the stage, there had been two major disruptions: Before the intermission, a man shouted “The murder of Klinghoffer will never be forgiven” several times before being escorted out, and during the second half, just after the character of Leon Klinghoffer was murdered, a woman cried out a vulgarity and left, accompanied by ushers.