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Subject: Re: Ashes-Scatterer Apologies in Letter to Gelb
From: "Max D. Winter" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Max D. Winter
Date:Thu, 3 Nov 2016 14:23:06 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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Alain Letort wrote:

"I am scandalized and indignant that this irresponsible lunatic dickhead nutcase Kaiser, who 
has his picture taken with an apple on his head, gets off scot-free with just an “oops, 
soooor-ry” letter."

Let's be reasonable about this.  

First, Kaiser apparently did not break any Federal or State laws, at least none for which 
Federal or State authorities are willing to prosecute.  So, he can't be fined or otherwise held 
to account for any criminal action.  (Stupidity isn't a crime, which is fortunate, because if it 
were most of us would be felons and our entire political class would be behind bars.)  He 
may have violated some city health ordinance but that would just involve a slap on the 
wrist, not the desired Wrath of the Gods.

Second, the Met clearly does not want to take any further action on this, including pressing 
charges for any criminal violation that might be applicable.  So that's out.  While Kaiser 
clearly would be liable to the Met in a civil action for negligence and damages, to the tune of 
tens of thousands of dollars, that's not going to happen either.  That's the Met's call and it is 
a reasonable one, given that Kaiser is probably judgment-proof.  Of course, anyone who 
was at one of the two canceled performances and is sufficiently annoyed can bring their own 
civil action for damages against Kaiser for any losses they have sustained.  But I doubt he is 
what lawyers would call a "deep pocket," and you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.  
Additionally, any such civil action would have to be brought in New York City (that being the 
venue of the tort), which any sensible person from out of town would not want to do.  I 
suppose a class action is an option, but just try and find a lawyer to take it.

Finally, Kaiser certainly has not gotten off "scot-free."  He has achieved a very unpleasant 
form of notoriety in the opera community and has been publicly embarassed and 
humiliated.  I doubt that his present status is one he enjoys.  This is going to follow him for 
a while.  Condign punishment. 

So, just go ahead and vent on Opera-l.  It doesn't cost anything and it may provide a 
momentary sense of satisfaction.  I think we can be sure of one thing (at least, I hope we 
can): we are unlikely to see any more deceased opera lovers' ashes scattered in orchestra 
pits in the future, certainly not by Mr. Kaiser.  For myself, I am willing to forgive, although I 
certainly won't forget any time soon!  Come to think of it, what happened last Saturday is 
probably far more memorable than Act IV of "Tell" would have been, disappointed though I 
was to miss it. 

MDW

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