Okay. Someone you cared about died, and that special person wanted to spend eternity (or the life of the building) somewhere that was very, very important to him. So you do your best to realize his wishes.
Right way: very, very discreetly. A pinch under a seat, a pinch in a potted plant, a pinch in standing room, a pinch in the gift shop, a pinch in front of a famous singer's portrait or costume. And then flush the rest down the toilet or take it home with you.
Wrong way: tossing a handful into the orchestra pit, which results in the cancellation of the rest of the matinee performance - because you didn't think ahead about doing something discreet after the performance - and the cancellation of that night's performance. And also results in the NYPD terrorism squad visiting the Met, additional expense to the Met (which is making some kind of offer to patrons of the two performances), and a lot of very disappointed opera-goers, some of whom traveled significant distances to see William Tell and L'Italiana and who won't be able to return to catch subsequent performances.
Way to honor that special person.
I expect my readership knows all about this, but if not, here are the relevant articles:
- Michael Cooper and Christopher Mele's report in the Times
- NY Post identifies the individual as Roger Kaiser
- La Cieca comments at Parterre Box (Make sure you read to the end, and make sure you read the comments. Tenor Rene Barbera is more generous than I am.)
Let me be quite clear: I do not at all support the notion that you should find a way to leave a friend or loved one's cremains at the Met or any other public institution, not until the Met (opera company or museum) opens its own columbarium. If you really want to honor that person's connection to the institution, make a donation in his / her / their memory, and leave it at that.