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Subject: Re: Official word on Tell interrupted
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 30 Oct 2016 13:35:39 -0400
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I can think of two other tragedies that warranted cancelling a performance (in both cases, 
after it had already begun) - a broadcast performance of Macbeth in 1988 where a patron 
committed suicide by jumping from the Family Circle, and a Makropoulos Case 
performance where tenor Richard Versalle fell from a ladder in the opening scene and died 
of a heart attack. (In an eerie nod to Leonard Warren's death, Versalle had just sung a lyric 
along the lines of "you can only live so long.")

I don't know how the Met handled refunds or compensations in either case. 

I would agree that in this day and age there should always be some sort of plan of how to 
handle a possible terrorist act, however, I think we know that we all are generally woefully 
prepared for such things. I think this was a lose-lose situation for the Met and the audience 
alike, but it's always much easier to try to play Monday morning quarterback, of course. 
For those of us who weren't there, it's hard to assess what our reactions might have been. 

There are some reports that the substance spilled into the pit was not anything anthrax-
like, but rather human ashes. Perhaps we will learn more about the specifics of this as 
time goes on, but I do have to say that even if this was some sort of final request by the 
deceased, if this action was meant in all innocence, it was also unbelievably stupid, given 
the predictable result. It's one thing to commit or threaten an actual terrorist act, it's 
another thing to do something that would certainly be perceived in that way - and again, in 
this era, dumping some unknown substance into an enclosed space like an orchestra pit 
fits that definition. How unbelievably inane, reckless, and unthinking for this person to do 
this. 

And, as a musician who has spent a good deal of time in orchestra pits, even joking that 
they are often "my home away from home" when I'm doing a run of a show, I can say for 
myself that should I decide I wish to be cremated, I certainly would not wish my ashes to 
end up in such a place. I know I can't speak for everyone, of course, but it's hard for me to 
imagine anyone wanting their ashes sprinkled in an orchestra pit - the Met's or any others. 
(Especially when chances are they will wind up being vacuumed up anyway. Ick.)

I'm sorry for all of those involved, and at least relieved that it seems no lives were in 
danger. Let's all remember that that's the most important thing. 




On Sun, 30 Oct 2016 12:34:55 -0400, Ken Wilson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>When was the last time the Met had to cancel at the last minute? Given that
>they have covers for every role, it would be understandable if they had no
>system in place. Then again, this is the age of terrorism and terror
>threats, so they shouldn't have been completely caught off guard.
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Mitchell, Katalin
>Sent: Sunday, October 30, 2016 10:05 AM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Re: Official word on Tell interrupted
>
>Just to give you an idea, I had a ticket to Plenty at the Public Theater a
>couple of weeks ago, and received an e-mail two hours before start that
>the performance was cancelled due to actor illness.  Informing audiences
>at the last minute is easy nowadays, it is incomprehensible why an
>organization the size of the MET is not capable of it.
>Kati
>
>
>
>
>On 10/30/16, 9:01 AM, "Discussion of opera and related issues on behalf of
>Michael Liebert" <[log in to unmask] on behalf of [log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>>On Sun, 30 Oct 2016 05:13:42 -0400, Frank Cadenhead <[log in to unmask]>
>>wrote:
>>
>>>Silly tantrums here, but there was, obviously, a serious security issue
>>>to be
>>>resolved.
>>
>>
>>I guess you have difficulty with he English language.  I didn't complain
>>about the cancellation(s).  They did what they thought was best at the
>>time.
>> Unfortunate, but I had no problem with it.
>>
>>My problem is with the Met's callous disregard for those of us heading to
>>the Opera-house AFTER they decide to cancel; and also their stupid
>>suggestion that everyone with a ticket call the same number at the same
>>time
>>on Monday.
>>
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