Man Sprinkles Ashes into Met Orchestra Pit; Opera Cancelled

October 29, 2016, 8:04 PM · The Metropolitan Opera cancelled the remainder of a performance of Rossini's Guillaume Tell (aka "William Tell") before Act IV Saturday afternoon, when a man sprinkled what appeared to be ashes in the orchestra pit.

Police said the man told other patrons he was there specifically to sprinkle the ashes during the performance, the New York Times reported. There was no criminal intent, police said, and the ashes were reportedly those of the man's mentor.

The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. and caused an immediate evacuation of the building. Musicians apparently had to leave their instruments in the pit initially. Here is a tweet from the MET Orchestra Musicians:

The incident also caused the cancellation of Saturday evening’s performance of L’Italiana in Algeri while the authorities investigated.


October 30, 2016 at 04:01 AM · This may be a dumb question, but why did they have to evacuate? Why did they have to leave the instruments?

October 30, 2016 at 04:05 AM · They were thinking Anthrax or any type of powder used by terrorists.

October 30, 2016 at 11:55 AM · Book 'em, Danno.

October 30, 2016 at 02:46 PM · @Paul Made my day with that one

November 3, 2016 at 01:23 PM · LaNette: would you want to inhale someone's body parts? Just breathing in somone's ashes makes me cringe........ok, if the substance was not immediately recognized as being human parts....I would not want to wait. I would grab Frieda (my violin) and head for the nearest exit with my should cloth over my mouth and nose.

So much for The Show Must Go On. Forget it!!!

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Guide to Online Learning Guide to Online Learning

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin


Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine