Man Accused of Disrupting Met Opera: NYPD

A man was charged with disorderly conduct Monday night after allegedly disrupting the Metropolitan Opera's opening performance of a contentious production focused on the death of a Jewish man that critics say glorifies his Palestinian killers, police say.

The 56-year-old man from Stamford, Connecticut, was ticketed for the offense Monday night at Lincoln Center. Police say the man disrupted the show at the start of the performance, but the specific nature of the disruption wasn't immediately clear.

Monday night was the first performance of "The Death of Klinghoffer," a John Adams opera based on the 1985 killing of passenger Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro, an Italian cruise ship hijacked by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front. The 69-year-old was shot in his wheelchair and pushed overboard.

The Met's production of the play has been a lightning rod since the show was announced in February. Large groups of protesters began picketing outside Lincoln Center on Sept. 22, the opera's opening night.

Protests hit a fever pitch Monday with about 400 people stood behind barricades chanting "Shame on the Met!" and carrying signs saying "The Met glorifies terrorism" before the first performance of "The Death of Klinghoffer." Among the protesters were former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. George Pataki.

Several protesters made it into the stands, orchestrating a few disruptions throughout the opera. Boos were shouted from scattered seats, and a voice yelled from a balcony, "The murder of Klinghoffer will never be forgotten!" 

It's not clear if the man who was ticketed Monday was among the protesters in the theater.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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