After DiDonato had finished delivering her showpiece aria “Una voce poco fà”, she tripped and fell as she ran off stage. Her manager, Simon Goldstone, watching in the audience, knew immediately that there was a problem when he saw her use the signal that theater folk use to ask for some ice! “For act two, she came in with a cane. Some people in the audience clearly thought it was part of the show,” he says. But that was just the beginning. DiDonato was determined to finish the show, and after the final curtain she was rushed to the nearest ER. The opera is nearly three hours long, and she spent about four hours in the ER of University College Hospital before being released. She was assured that while this kind of break is painful, it heals quickly (the broken bone is the fibula, the outer bone of the lower leg); the orthopedic specialist who saw her the next day said she should be able to perform in a day or two. Accordingly, she was fitted with a new fiberglass cast in shocking pink – to match her costume.A similar accident happened in a dress rehearsal I played in a few years ago when a tenor fell from the stage and fractured his leg when rehearsing bows. These types of incidents are why I never say "Break a leg" before a performance, but instead substitute one of these:
- "Toi Toi!"
- "In bocc'all lupo!"
- "In culo alla balena!", to which the correct response is "Fammi luce!"