A performance of “Guillaume Tell” at the Metropolitan Opera was cancelled in the middle of the show Saturday afternoon after an audience member sprinkled some white powder in the orchestra pit during intermission.

People who were nearby were checked by medical technicians in the plaza, the Times reported.

“The man was observed reaching into a black bag and sprinkling the contents into two separate places in the orchestra pit. The performance did not resume because the action was perceived as a threat, Mr. Miller said. Tests were being done to identify the powder.

The person who was closest to the substance was examined, but no one was injured.”

The unidentified man apparently told other people he had wanted to sprinkle the ashes of his mentor. “The man told other patrons he was there specifically to sprinkle the ashes during the performance, the police said.” Police are attempting to contact him.

The Met will reopen on Monday.

NEWS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. UWSHebrew says:

      guy seriously needs a psych eval

    2. ScooterStan says:

      Re: “…to sprinkle the ashes….

      As is (NOT USUALLY) said:
      Ashes to Ashes
      Dust to Dust
      Thus saith the grave-diggers,
      ‘Dig We Must*’

      *sorry, ConEd

    3. Glen says:

      Classless. Makes total sense the man was from Texas (as was later reported).

    4. UWS-er says:

      Welcome to De Blasio’s New York. Never would have happened if we had stop and frisk.

    5. Eric says:

      So his final friend’s resting place is either an Oreck vacuum cleaner bag or a plastic envelope in an NYPD evidence locker. Hmmmm.

    6. B.B. says:

      Well they do say the road the Hell is paved with good intentions….


      Guy was just trying to do a good thing; honor the deceased and all that, and look what happens.

      Considering some of the dusty old warhorse productions the MET hauls out year after year a little more won’t hurt anyone.

    7. Ted says:

      I am shocked that this man was not charged with a crime. I would think improper disposal of human remains, disrupting a paid performance, vandalizing the musicians instruments or inciting fear of a terrorist attack might warrant charges.

      The pure selfishness of this act is so loathsome and disrespectful to the hundreds of paying patrons of the opera that it boggles the mind.

      I never cease to be amazed at people’s sense of entitlement.

      • B.B. says:

        Ashes of cremated humans are not considered “remains” as such. New York like many states thus has few (if any) legal restrictions as to where said ashes can be kept and or scattered.

        After cremation nothing remains of a human corpse but sterile dust.

        While in theory you should seek permission to scatter ashes on say a local or federal land such as a park, people do it all the time.

        Above is likely why the person involved hasn’t yet been charged with any crime. Once it was determined the substance was human ashes and not any sort of toxic material am guessing the most they could do is give him a ticket for littering.

        Now if the guy had pulled out hands, feet, fingers, limbs and began scattering them about *that* would have been different matter.

    8. Gretchen says:

      Well, you could call this ash-spreader, um, an ash-hole. Sorry.

    9. geoff says:

      i worked at the met for years, backstage. ashes and crap everywhere. who cares? the stagehands would love this guy’s sentiment. there’s probably pounds of stagehand, musician and singer’s ashes anyway. sprinkle, don’t tell.