Tags: Klinghoffer | Met | Achille Lauro | Tony Lo Bianco

Tony Lo Bianco: Who Needs an Opera That Promotes Terrorists?

By    |   Friday, 10 October 2014 02:00 PM

He's portrayed streetwise cops, tough mob bosses, and heavyweight boxers, but now Tony Lo Bianco is playing himself in the real-life role of a protester taking on the New York's Metropolitan Opera.

The Brooklyn-born actor is up in arms over the Met's controversial staging of "The Death of Klinghoffer," which some have called anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, pro-terrorist and anti-American.

"Have we lost our minds?" Lo Bianco said on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Klinghoffer, a disabled American appliance manufacturer, was on board the Achille Lauro cruise ship when it was held hostage by four armed Palestinian terrorists off the coast of Egypt in 1985.

They ordered the captain to sail to Syria and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons. Refused permission by Syria to dock, the gunmen singled out Klinghoffer, shot him dead and threw his body overboard.

Composer John Adams' opera, "The Death of Klinghoffer,'' opened in 1991 and was criticized for being too sympathetic to the killers, who call themselves freedom fighters and present their justifications.

"To even think about putting a show like that on is ridiculous. We do not need the explanation of the terrorists' side of the argument. Israel is our ally, right?" Lo Bianco said.
"Why do we need to put on an opera that is promoting and interpreting the other side of the terrorists? Israel is our friend … and we have to understand that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East."

Earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League successfully lobbied to have the plug pulled on a worldwide broadcast of the Met production, but the live show will go ahead in this month and in November.

Lo Bianco said he is also perplexed that Met General Manager Peter Gelb is allowing the production to go forward.

"And Peter Gelb … he's Jewish," he said. "Sometimes you have a right, of course, to express your feelings, but you must understand that the enemy can hear you."

In a statement issued in June, Gelb said: "I'm convinced that the opera is not anti-Semitic."

Lo Bianco has plenty of company in his disdain for the opera. Noted civil-rights lawyer and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz last month wrote in a column published by Newsmax:

"The opera shows its bias toward the terrorists immediately in the opera’s title: It is not 'The Murder of Leon Klinghoffer'; it is the far more neutral and dehumanizing title, 'The Death of Klinghoffer.' … [It] is not about ends; it is about means. And the means that it seeks to give equal voice to is the cold-blooded terrorist murder of an innocent Jew like Leon Klinghoffer."

Lo Bianco, who played a cop on TV's "Police Story," portrayed fighter Rocky Marciano, and was chilling as the murderer of little old ladies in "The Honeymoon Killers" — is now touring with his acclaimed one-man show, "The Little Flower."

He plays New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia reminiscing on the final day of his three terms in office. The flamboyant politician famously read comics to children during a newspaper strike, fought corruption and cleaned up city politics.

"It's a great opportunity to bring this man to life because he was a great man. Most people don't know who he was and what he accomplished," said Lo Bianco, 77.

"It's really important because what's happening in today's knowledge in schools is that they're not being taught history. It really mortifies me.

"I just saw an interview from Harvard. College kids who didn't even know who the vice president was."

The show will be performed in New York on Oct. 14 and 16th, and then tour cities including Binghampton, N.Y.; Los Angeles; Pelham, N.Y.; Castleton, Va.; Culpepper, Va.; Naples, Fla., and Philadelphia.

Schedules and tickets are available through TonyLoBianco.com.

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He's portrayed streetwise cops, tough mob bosses, and heavyweight boxers, but now Tony Lo Bianco is playing himself in the real-life role of a protester taking on the New York's Metropolitan Opera.
Klinghoffer, Met, Achille Lauro, Tony Lo Bianco
Friday, 10 October 2014 02:00 PM
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