Opera fan from Dallas sorry for ‘sweet gesture’ that ended performance

NEW YORK (AP) — The opera lover who sparked a terrorism scare by scattering a friend’s ashes at New York’s Metropolitan Opera apologized Wednesday for his operatic gesture.

Dallas resident Roger Kaiser said in a letter to Met general manager Peter Gelb and “the entire Metropolitan Opera community” that he promised a cancer-stricken friend in 2012 that he would scatter the friend’s ashes at various opera houses after his death.

Kaiser said he told his friend that “he would be there forever enjoying all the beautiful music.”

He said his “sweet gesture to a dying friend” went “completely and utterly wrong.”

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The Met halted a performance of Rossini’s “Guillaume Tell” Saturday after some musicians reported seeing Kaiser sprinkle a powdery substance into the orchestra pit during the second intermission. A later performance of another opera also was canceled as police investigated.

Police contacted Kaiser after learning his identity but he has not been charged with a crime.

Kaiser apologized for inadvertently creating a disturbance.

“As a devoted opera enthusiast, the reality of the situation weighs heavily on me,” he said.

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Gelb responded that he appreciated the sincerity of Kaiser’s apology even though his actions caused the Met anxious hours, disappointed the audiences of both operas and cost thousands of dollars.

He added, “I trust that your future visits to the Met will be without incident, and that you will continue to proselytize about your love of opera to all who will listen.”