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fluorescentCONFIRMED UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: The Metropolitan Opera has confirmed that tonight’s performance of L’italiana in Algeri  has been canceled, as La Cieca reported earlier this evening. 

UPDATE: A source close to the Met reveals that the cancellation of the last act of Guillaume Tell this afternoon was not caused by a problem with the scenery, as was announced. In fact, the performance was curtailed after it was discovered “somebody dumped an unknown white powder into the pit following act 3.”

?Reported on Facebook: “After a long delay at intermission, the Met cancelled the final act of today’s matinee performance of Guillaume Tell. Unspecified issue with the scenery.”

Photo: Marty Sohl

  • Peripetia

    I can confirm the cancellation. I did not see any of the drama with powder but the pit was empty and there were security guards at the front.

    Thank you, La Cieca, for the updates.

    I was heartbroken to leave after Act 3. It was very moving and well sung and played. I traveled from Denver to see this opera -- it is one of my top three favorites. The staging was awful as reported and really did nothing to enhance the drama. I thought Finley really warmed up in Acts 2-3 after being overpowered by the orchestra. The chorus and orchestra were fantastic -- conducting was brilliant. I’m so depressed about leaving without the ending -- Tout change et grandit is such a wonderful finale.

    I guess I’ll just have to come back…

    • leoniceno

      Aww man, that really sucks. Sorry that happened to you.

    • NoelAnn

      Oh that’s awful!!!

    • ER

      there are two more performances, I believe, and the MET will switch you to another date at no cost, if your schedule allows.

    • Lohenfal

      There are 4 more performances: Nov. 2, 5, 9 and 12, should you want to see it again.

      As you say, the visuals aren’t very interesting, but the musical side was good. The idea of hearing Asile héréditaire as part of a complete performance onstage was one of the reasons I went today. I’ll just have to return to the recordings to finish the opera in my mind.

      It might have been better if the Met had told those of us in the audience something of the real reason why they had to stop the show. The booing and demands for refunds from certain audience members might have been avoided, since it appears that the Met was not at fault in this instance.

    • laddie

      A friend of mine also flew in from Dallas for the weekend performances. Unfortunately he won’t be able to return this season.

      • CruzSF

        Oh, he’ll be unable to return for longer than one season, I think.

        • rapt

          CruzSF! I’m only an inconstant reader of Parterre, but it seems years since I saw your moniker, so I don’t know if you’re only recently back. If so, welcome--I, for one, have missed you!

          • CruzSF

            Thanks. A friend linked to the post above so I returned to take a look.

            I’m an acquaintance of the Ashman, though not a close one, and I’m saddened and angry over his recklessness. I think Rene Barbera is incredibly forgiving in his response, much more so than I would be.

  • actfive

    Whoa. Possible anthrax at the Met? Scary.

  • Sanford Schimel

    Evening perf also canceled

  • Jorale-man

    Sheesh. They made it through a whole set of “Klinghoffer” performances with nothing like this (aside from a few crazy hecklers on opening night) and somehow “Tell” is the target.

  • NoelAnn

    If the evening was cancelled it must have been more than baby powder.

  • manou

    They supplied the wrong opera house -- The Nose is on at the Royal Opera.

  • StageLefty

    One for the books… how soon will it become a talking point at a political rally? I am sure that the cancellation is relative to the H&S clauses in all the union agreements, and that the weird circumstances demand that something toxic MUST be ruled out. Hope the patrons who missed out on the end will be able to be accommodated. Unnerving for all on both sides of (especially beneath) the proscenium.

  • nachtEule
    • QuantoPainyFakor

      PIX has the video account—apparently the ashes of a mentor of a member of the audience sprinkled on the timpani and the podium!
      http://pix11.com/2016/10/29/person-pours-suspicious-powder-into-metropolitan-opera-orchestra-pit/

      • QuantoPainyFakor
      • What an effing moron. I was there yesterday afternoon too -- petit Jesu sur la croix! -- the ONLY reason to stay the course of Tell is to get to “Asile hereditaire” and the final chorus! When we saw the orchestra NOT returning after a very long intermission, I thought “Uh-oh, this does not bode well…”
        When the stage manager initially announced some “technical difficulties” I thought that perhaps some of the upside-down mountain deer had fallen into Lake Geneve.
        What I heard was wonderful though, Finley in particular. And I did close my eyes through most of the silly, aimless stuff transpiring onstage.

        • Krunoslav

          I thought that maybe Zinka had decided finally to get Leyla Gencer into the Met one way or another…

  • Cicciabella

    Mentoring can go wrong in all sorts of ways.

  • QuantoPainyFakor
    • manou

      What will happen if he survives all these “Friends”? That’s a lot of human remains…

    • NoelAnn

      I’ve had conversations and recognize the profile pic. He should have known better. Has he not watched shawshank? You put the dust in your pockets, cut a hole and walk around distributing it. I think the orchestra level would have been sufficient. -- I’m kidding!

  • Anybody know what the scene in Lincoln Center plaza was like when upwards of 3000 people showed up for L’Italiana in Algeri and found themselves locked out of the evening performance?

    • QuantoPainyFakor

      now the met is one big portacenere.

    • NoelAnn

      This poor lady from the midwest posted on FB she flew in for L’italiana for her one and only time to be at the met and now she has to miss it with no other opportunity to be there. It’s so very sad. Sometimes we forget how special the met is to those who aren’t within viewing distance, HD is not the same as being there. :(

    • Helen Wynn

      We were stunned and people really didn’t want to leave. Perhaps zoster Gelb could have shown his face to help soften the blow. After all, but 8 p.m. Saturday night they certainly New it was not some dangerous substance. Wondering g if this was really some publicity stunt. Surely, there was not co cern for the patrons like from muesli traveling 10000 miles over 72 hours to support the Met

      • manou

        Your predictive text suffers from an unpleasant illness -- but at least has healthy breakfasts.

        • Porgy Amor

          “Zoster Gelb’s trashy productions are erupting again! That place is never going to clear up without the ointment of tradition.”

          • manou

            Would Gelb’s face soften blows or be softened by blows?

      • La Cieca

        “People really didn’t want to leave” is no excuse for putting the public and people who work at the Met in danger of being killed by poison.

        But you traveled so far! Surely your inconvenience vastly outweighs the lives of thousands of people.

  • simonelvladtepes

    We happened to stream the movie Tiger Orange (2014) last night, where there is an ash spreading scene. I had an argument with my partner, who claimed “it’s illegal to spread ashes in NY state”, “that’s state law.” I found that bizarre that there should be such a law -- turns out he was wrong as usual. I’ll let him know.

  • Cicciabella

    This gives me a great idea. The next time someone dear to me is cremated, I will go to their favourite restaurant and strew ashes all over the kitchen. Maybe the chef can use them to thicken his sauces.

  • Sirotah

    The offender should be charged with reckless endangerment, tried, and ordered to reimburse all attendees, the Met, and the city/county police force out of his own pocket.

    • Armerjacquino

      You’re saying that a whole load of new laws should be created and retrospectively put in place for this one event? Seems like a lot of work.

    • Helen Wynn

      Absolutely. I was there and cheated out of the evening performance, too. Traveled from Hawaii for 72 hour roundtrip.

  • manou

    Surely a performance of Cenerentola would have been a more apposite target.