NYC Met Opera performance halted after man scatters friend’s ashes in orchestra pit

A performance of Guillaume Tell at the Met, had to be cut short Saturday when a man went up to the stage during intermission and scattered his friend's ashes in the orchestra pit. Photo from Metropolitan Opera/YouTube

NEW YORK, Oct. 30 (UPI) — An opera performance at the Metropolitan Opera was halted Saturday after a man sprinkled the ashes of his mentor among the musicians.

Another performance was canceled Saturday evening in an abundance of caution.

New York City police later said during a news conference they don’t believe the man had any criminal intent or knew he was doing anything wrong, ABC7 reported.

Police and the fire department of New York City responded to the Lincoln Center about 5:20 p.m. during the performance of “Guillaume Tell.”

Met Opera General Manager Peter Gelb said none of the musicians got hit by the ashes. He said the Opera will again be open on Monday. He added that he hopes people will continue to come to the performances, but “leave their ashes at home.”

The Dallas man reportedly walked up to the front of the stage during intermission and scattered the ashes of his beloved friend in the orchestra pit, the New York Post reported.

Roger Kaiser, 52, a jeweler and opera buff, believed he was paying his departed friend a major tribute, sources said.

“Oct 29 is gonna be a good day!” Kaiser posted on Instagram before the performance. He posed with his tickets for both Saturday’s matinee and evening operas, which he termed a “#doubleheader.”

“I am excited,” he posted on Facebook, posing in a shot with an apple on his head, a nod to William Tell.

His gesture to a friend soured the audience, however. The end of the show was cancelled and police counter-terrorism collected the “white powder” for testing.

Most of the audience had no idea what happened, but were told of the show’s cancellation when they returned to their seats after a long intermission and found an empty orchestra pit.

Members of the audience, with whom Kaiser had confided, pointed him out to police. He said he came to the opera to “sprinkle the ashes of his friend and mentor” who “loved the opera, a police officer said.

Kaiser could face charges, but what charges have not been determined.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here