A year ago, I wrote about the importance of safety in the world of performing arts. And we face many challenges applying the right safety measure in the world of performing arts, including music.
David Ott, a composer and conductor, tried to retrieve his score from the stand, and he fell 14 feet down to the basement of orchestra pit. The orchestral pit was raised to stage level at the rehearsal and was removed after the rehearsal. Yet after the rehearsal ended – in the dark, Ott tried to find his score from the stage but fell directly and landed on his back, breaking 9 vertebrae, dislocating a shoulder and injured an angkle. He assumed that the riser had not been removed.
A month ago soprano Ana Maria Martinez gave a surprising drama at Glyndebourne. At the end of first act of Antonín Dvorak’s opera, Rusalka, Martinez was tripped on stage props as she tried to move away from her counterpart, tenor Brandon Jovanovich and fell to the pit near the string section. The accident made Martinez rushed to the hospital as a precaution. The interval which was actually scheduled right after the closing of first act, was delayed for another 10 minutes, from 20 minutes to 30 minutes. Yet, the show was continued and the role was taken over by the understudy, Natalya Romaniw.
Whether our performance spaces really meet the minimal standard requirement of safety measures, we still do not really know. But from these incidents we should already learn that where ever you are, safety has to be prioritized, shouldn’t we?