Met Opera’s anthrax scare ends with apology from man who scattered friend’s ashes

Posted on: November 3, 2016

“The Dallas opera lover who scattered a friend’s ashes in the orchestra pit at the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday—causing a terrorism scare, and forcing the Met to cut one performance short and cancel another—apologized Wednesday in a letter emailed to Met officials,” writes Michael Cooper in Wednesday’s (11/2) New York Times. The man, Roger Kaiser, “wrote about his love of opera and his devotion to the friend who taught him about it. He said he had come up with the ash-scattering idea in 2012 when his friend … was dying of cancer…. Mr. Kaiser … called his act ‘a sweet gesture … that went completely and utterly wrong in ways that I could never have imagined.’ … Several musicians had reported seeing Mr. Kaiser sprinkle a white powdery substance during the second intermission at Saturday’s matinee of Rossini’s ‘Guillaume Tell.’ Amid fears that the powder could have been a dangerous substance such as anthrax, the remainder of the opera was canceled and the evening performance of Rossini’s ‘L’Italiana in Algeri’ … was canceled as well. Police investigators … determined that the powdery substance did not pose a threat. In consultation with the Met, they decided not to press charges.”

Posted November 3, 2016