Update: Security alert as Met Opera cancels final act of William Tell

Update: Security alert as Met Opera cancels final act of William Tell


norman lebrecht

October 29, 2016

We don’t know the reason yet.

A heavy security presence is reported by audience members.

Refunds are being offered against future performances of the same opera.

We hear from an orchestra player that a man was observed sprinkling a white flaky powder substance from a bag on the timpani, and then the podium. It was reported to security and house management. The powder is being tested. Peter Gelb cancelled the show according to security protocol.

There appears to be no ongoing threat.

metropolitan-opera exterior

Here’s more.



  • Lane Trippe says:

    We were there–5th row–how did no one see this during the 2d intermission??

  • paukenschlager oder timbalist says:

    On the timpani?. Why not the brass section. I mean,. come on…

  • Kathy says:

    People wander up and look in the pit all the time – well, maybe not anymore – so that wouldn’t be unusual. And people are talking, not watching what others are doing. So it’s not odd that no one saw him. Someone saw something though, or they wouldn’t have known to investigate.

  • Carolyn Moretti says:

    I was at the performance and fully accepted that something was very serious to have caused this action by management. However several rude people managed to scream out angry shouts of “I want my money back”. Where has civility gone in our society?

  • Les Marsden says:

    I’m gob-smacked. How can it be that there are people this stupid – walking the planet? Well, that’s probably easy enough to rationalize when one realizes the fact that at least ONE of the current Presidential candidates in the US has ANY supporters, but still: this NIT thought it was perfectly fine to sprinkle ashes (human, paper, any kind) in the pit of the Met? As if 1) people don’t work and breathe and exist down there – and actually indulge in heavy-duty INTAKE of air (and we’re not just talking about the wind players) but: 2) there’s some sort of presumption that the ashes would actually STAY in the pit? As if it’s not regularly vacuumed, and cleaned – and otherwise rendered debris-free or as close to it as possible? I think this fool – well-intentioned or not: should be levied the cost of the Met’s shut-down for not one, but the following performance as well, due to the request of investigators. And what of ALL those who were only in town for that single performance – or the following one – performances which were cancelled due to the actions of a single cretin? I’m – as I noted at the top: gob-smacked. His “mentor” – one hopes: would have simply SMACKED his idiot of a protege for thinking an act so stupid might be considered in any way a tribute.