Opera fan sorry for ‘sweet ges­ture’ that ended per­for­mance

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - OBITUARIES -

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.”

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.

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.”

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