Pow­der sprin­kled into opera pit may have been hu­man ashes

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES - By Karen Matthews and Julie Walker

A pow­dery sub­stance a man sprin­kled into the or­ches­tra pit at New York’s Metropoli­tan Opera may have been an opera lover’s ashes, po­lice say.

The freak­ish in­ci­dent dur­ing a Satur­day af­ter­noon per­for­mance of Rossini’s “Guil­laume Tell” forced Met of­fi­cials to can­cel the rest of the show as well as an evening per­for­mance of a sec­ond opera.

John Miller, the New York Po­lice Depart­ment’s deputy com­mis­sioner in charge of in­tel­li­gence and coun­tert­er­ror­ism, said sev­eral au­di­ence mem­bers said a man told them he was there to sprin­kle the ashes of a friend, his men­tor in the opera.

Miller said the man was in front of the first row of seats when he sprin­kled the pow­der into the or­ches­tra pit dur­ing the sec­ond in­ter­mis­sion when most of the mu­si­cians were not present.

He said the pow­der will be tested, but the pos­si­bil­ity that it was in fact hu­man ashes “is cer­tainly an area that we are pur­su­ing.”

Po­lice know who the man is and are reach­ing out to him, Miller said, adding that the man does not live in New York.

Miller said the dis­posal of ashes at an opera house may vi­o­late city codes but, “I don’t be­lieve at this point that we see any crim­i­nal in­tent here.”

Met Gen­eral Man­ager Peter Gelb said, “We ap­pre­ci­ate opera lovers com­ing to the Met. We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them.”

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