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October 23, 2014 2:47 pm

‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

The Death of Klinghoffer. Photo: NewYorkCityTheatre.com

An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s ListNew York Post reported.

“To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,” said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified.

The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of two was shot by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship 29 years ago. The terrorists threw his body, along with his wheelchair, overboard into the Mediterranean Sea and his corpse washed up on the Syrian shoreline a few days later.

Klinghoffer’s daughters, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, said the opera “rationalizes, romanticizes and legitimizes the terrorist murder of our father” and “sullies the memory of a fine, principled, sweet man in the process.” Others who protested the show include former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guliani, who led a demonstration against the performance on its opening night Monday.

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State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that while the opera house has a 1st Amendment right to stage the production deemed by some as anti-Semitic, “if I was running it, I don’t think I would have put it on.”

However, the actress, whose husband is Jewish and whose children were bat mitzvahed, fired back at the opera’s critics. She insisted that the production combats anti-Semitism and told The Post, “It’s educational and provokes human nature to understand both sides.”

“It is an important piece of theater, and people should be allowed to judge for themselves and try not to listen to the rabble-rousers,” she said the day after hundreds protested outside Lincoln Center.

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