USA, Penny Woolcock (2003)
Location shooting is the most interesting aspect of this adaptation of John Adams’ opera about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro and the murder of Leon Klinghoffer by Palestinian terrorists. Filmed on location and aboard ship in the Mediterranean, it’s interesting to watch an opera move beyond the confines of the stage. The singing/acting was good and it’s certainly an interesting way to interpret a historical event. The captain sings, the tourists sing, the terrorists sing, the cruise ship chorus girls sing, but none of it’s that interesting or compelling to watch for more than, say, an hour.
The music is, well, it’s modern opera. Correction. It’s John Adams. Enough said for most people, and while I’m an operagoer myself, this severely tested my limits. I know now that John Adams ain’t my cup of tea. By the time Marilyn Klinghoffer started singing about her liver and her spleen (don’t ask) I was more than ready to jump ship.
Here’s the Gist: I don’t know what I was thinking when I went to see this. It seemed like a good idea at the time. [**]