Read the libretto of the English opera The Death of Klinghoffer by John Coolidge Adams on With links to other information and other operas. Trove: Find and get Australian resources. Books, images, historic newspapers, maps, archives and more. The Death of Klinghoffer. Discussion Guide Libretto Excerpts. VIGNETTE I (Act I, Scene II). MAMOUD. It’s good. That these songs are sad. I used to play.

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The Death of Klinghoffer, John Adams’ second opera, takes as its subject the hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro in Again the concept for the opera was suggested by director Peter Sellars.

Opera shared the work’s commission but never presented it. The Death of Klinghoffer is told in a very different style than Adams’ previous opera, Nixon in China.

The Death of Klinghoffer Libretto | Adams |

While based on historical events, Klinghoffer does not always treat them in a traditionally narrative manner, and the events we see are not always those we expect. Several important events in the historical narrative–including Klinghoffer’s death itself–are not seen onstage, but only commented on after the fact.

In addition, librettto of the characters sing their oc of the action as reminiscences, as for example in the Captain’s opening aria, “It was just after 1: Meanwhile, each scene ends with a number in which the chorus reflects on the events that have occurred.

The opera begins with a prelude consisting of two of these choruses, one sung by a Chorus of Exiled Palestinians and the other by a Chorus of Exiled Jews.

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Act I begins with the Captain of the Achille Lauro narrating the events of the original hijacking; most of the passengers had disembarked for a tour of the Pyramids when the hijackers first appeared; the remaining ones were rounded up in the ship’s restaraunt. Another version of the hijacking story is told by a Swiss Grandmother, one of the passengers, and then by the ship’s First Officer, who also tells that a passenger had been shot in the leg, apparently accidentally when a bullet ricocheted off the floor.

Molqui, one of the terrorists, sings an aria “Give these orders” explaining the situation to the passengers and promising them safety. Scene 2 introduces another of the terrorists, Mamoud, a more dangerous and violent man than his companion. The Captain reflects on the fact that every ship is a kind of prison. Mahmoud sings an aria about freedom, contrasting with the Captain’s earlier song.

Molqui is frustrated at the lack of a reply to klinghofferr demands; he is afraid people will die. Libetto says only, “Now we will kill you all. Explaining that he is normally a person who kkinghoffer to avoid trouble, he nevertheless goes on to condemn the hijackers, accusing them of simply using their ideologies as a license to fulfill their real desire–to kill. Finally we hear from the last of the terrorists, Omar, a young idealogue who is hoping to die in his cause.

At the end of the scene, Omar and Molqi fight, and Molqui takes Klinghoffer away. The next scene opens with Klinghoffer’s wife Marilyn, talking about disability, illness, and death; she assumes that her husband has been taken to the ship’s hospital.


In fact, during her aria, he is killed, offstage, by the terrorists, who are now threatening to kill another passenger every fifteen minutes; the Captain tells them to kill him instead of a passenger.

In the final scene, after the crisis librehto been resolved and the passengers have disembarked, the Captain tells Marilyn Klinghoffer about her husband’s death.

The Death of Klinghoffer Libretto

The John Adams Earbox. The Death of Klinghoffer premiere recording. The Death of Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer’s Aria from The Death of Klinghoffer.

Recordings, books and videos.

Please visit our sister sites: The Death of Klinghoffer opera in two acts. About The Death of Klinghoffer. First Officer “Rambo”, b-bar.

Eugene Perry Leon Klinghoffer: Sanford Sylvan Marilyn Klinghoffer: Ingalls, lighting design Jonathan Deans, sound design John Boesche, projection design.

The Death of Klinghoffer – Wikipedia

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Last modified: June 26, 2020