New York Metropolitan Opera had to cancel a performance on Saturday after a terrorism scare. Audience member Roger Kaiser sprinkled powder into the orchestra pit during a performance of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, which led to the concert being cut short. An evening performance of a second Rossini piece L’Italiana in Algeri was also cancelled.
Police say Kaiser was in fact sprinkling a friend’s ashes. The deceased friend had been a huge opera fan and was Kaiser’s musical mentor. Kaiser told other audience members he was attending the concert in order to spread his friend’s ashes.
After an extended intermission the concert was cancelled, which prompted an angry response from some members of the audience.
‘We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met. We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them,’ said Met Opera general manager Peter Gelb in an interview with Associated Press. He added that audience members can contact the Met Opera box office to receive tickets for a later performance.