Natalia Lusinski
October 30, 2016 10:50 am
Santi Visalli/Getty Images

Next time you go to the opera, you may want to examine your seat before you sit down — at least if you were in the orchestra pit at New York’s Metropolitan Opera on October 29th. An opera-goer allegedly sprinkled human ashes into the pit during intermission.

NBC / giphy.com

The man has been identified as Roger Kaiser, 52, from Dallas, Texas, according to the New York Post. After the incident, he left the opera house.

“Guillaume Tell,” Rossini’s opera about folk hero William Tell — you’d probably recognize the overture from the TV show The Lone Ranger — was then stopped and the Met was evacuated for a “technical issue,” reported Philly.com. The evening performance, “L’Italiana in Algeri,” was also cancelled.

The orchestra pit was empty at the time of the incident, save for one musician who saw it. And some worried about the instruments they’d left behind.

Members of the NYPD’s counterterrorism team came to the opera house to investigate the powder, and the Health Department will, too.

However, several witnesses told police that the man had told them about his plan to sprinkle the ashes.

CBC / giphy.com

Authorities tracked Kaiser down and he told them that he came to the performance to “sprinkle the ashes of his friend and mentor’’ who “loved the opera,’’ reported the New York Post.

Although some places do permit the scattering of ashes — for instance, Wrigley Field in Chicago used to allow it — oftentimes, permission has to be granted first.

“In my eleven years as manager this is a first,” said Peter Gelb, general manager of the Met, reported the New York Daily News. “We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met,” he said, according to Philly.com. “We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them.”

We hear that.

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