Observations: You can't keep a good diva down
Friday 10 July 2009
Poor Joyce DiDonato, leading an all-star line-up in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden, ended up with her leg in plaster on the show's opening night last Saturday. The American mezzo slipped and fell during the performance, fracturing her fibula. Despite the agony she pressed on, first with the gallant support of her tenor Juan Diego Flórez, later with a crutch. But on her blog she declared: "From here on out, I declare that no one (please!) ever ever wish me again to: 'BREAK A LEG'."
Opera stars are better known for last-minute cancellations than against-all-odds persistence. So spare a thought for the brave souls whose dedication triumphs over scenarios that really shouldn't happen to a diva.
Two years ago, Sally Silver was singing Lucia di Lammermoor at Scottish Opera when she, too, fell over, then couldn't walk. Gamely, she borrowed a wheelchair from a member of the audience and sang in it to the end. Rinat Shaham, performing Carmen in Israel earlier this year, faced a nightmare when she developed an allergic reaction to the horses on stage. On opening night, her allergy worsened, then erupted into an asthma attack, just in time for the last act. She won through thanks to a cortisone injection and an inhaler.
Worse can await, especially in Tosca. Maria Callas once got carried away in the murder scene and managed to draw blood from her Scarpia, Tito Gobbi, with a plastic knife. And in 1995, the ammunition to execute Cavaradossi misfired and tenor Fabio Armiliato ended up with gunshot wounds in his leg..
And one tenor, Richard Versalle, died on stage at the Met during Janacek's The Makropoulos Case in 1996, suffering a heart attack at the top of a ladder. His last line? "Too bad you can live only so long."
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils