A piece of scenography fell during a performance of Turandot in Turin last night, hitting two chorus members who were rushed to hospital.
The incident occurred at the end of the second act as the curtain closed and a loud crash was heard in the auditorium.
Orchestral member and union representative Pierluigi Filania said,
A gigantic half-sphere resting on a platform supported by four rods representing the moon collapsed. Nothing like this has happened in years and all security checks had been carried out.
As police and ambulances arrived the audience left the theatre as the performance was suspended.
The Intendant of the Teatro Regio in Turin, Walter Vergnano, together with the city's Mayor and the Head of Culture, visited the two hospitals where the choristers had been taken. He said,
We are really sorry for what has happened, but the good news is that the two chorus members were not seriously injured.
It was the third performance of the opera, directed and designed by Stefano Poda, which has been critically acclaimed and applauded by the public. Tenor Antonello Ceron, who is singing Emperor Altoum, explained:
We were congratulating ourselves and shaking hands as we left the stage after the curtain came down, when a piece of the scenery fell. When I turned around there was a man and woman laying on the ground, but they were both conscious and were talking. If it had fallen on someone's head it could have been a tragedy, or if the stage had still been full of people. I am always one of the last to leave the stage as I enjoy to the full that moment after a successful act.
Tiziana Valbo, who sings in the chorus and is another union representative, said,
We were very scared. We don't know exactly how the accident happened, but we certainly won't be back on stage until we have assurances that we are working in safe conditions.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.