Opera Fan Apologizes for Spreading Friend’s Ashes at the Met

News   Opera Fan Apologizes for Spreading Friend’s Ashes at the Met
The incident led to canceled performances October 29.
The Metropolitan Opera
The Metropolitan Opera Monica Simoes

Dallas opera buff Roger Kaiser has delivered a “heartfelt apology” to the principals of New York’s Metropolitan Opera and “the entire Metropolitan Opera community” for an October 29 incident in which he scattered in the orchestra pit the ashes of his friend, fellow opera lover Terry Turner, who died of cancer, according to The New York Times.

The action, which took place at the second intermission of the four-and-a-half-hour opera Guillaume Tell at The Metropolitan Opera’s October 29 matinee, was not sanctioned by the opera company. The action was spotted by several of the pit musicians, who reported it to management. It caused cancellation of the rest of the performance and that evening’s planned performance of L’Italiana in Algeri by the Met management, which feared some sort of terrorist scare from the “suspicious powder.” The Met resumed performances October 31.

According to the text quoted in the Times, Kaiser wrote, “I told Terry that if he would like, I would take some of his ashes to opera houses that I visited in the future. Trying to lighten the mood, I jokingly told Terry they would never be able to vacuum all of him up. He would be there forever enjoying all the beautiful music.”

He added that he didn’t consider “the ugly possibilities” of his “sweet gesture to a dying friend that went completely and utterly wrong in ways that I could never have imagined. If I had ever thought anything like this could happen, I would never have done it.”

Kaiser’s letter concluded, “I can see now that to others, from the outside, it probably sounds downright foolish. And to all those impacted, I am profoundly sorry.”

According to ABC 7, the FDNY responded after the cancellation at 5:20 PM; the audience was told there was a technical issue.

Tweets surfaced shortly thereafter showing an inflated suitcase device being brought in and out of The Met and multiple NYPD vehicles on site.

(Updated November 3, 2016.)

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