Disaster: Tosca breaks her leg in Vienna Opera leap

Disaster: Tosca breaks her leg in Vienna Opera leap


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2015

The Austrian soprano Martina Serafin severely injured her leg in the climactic jump of Wednesday night’s Tosca at the Vienna State Opera.


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It appears she fell awkwardly onto the mattress and twisted the leg. She was so badly hurt that she could not take curtain calls. We hear that Martina has been put in a plaster cast for eight weeks and has cancelled her performances over that period.

Maria José Siri will take over as Tosca in Vienna.

We wish Martina a speedy recovery.


serafin alagna
Serafin with Roberto Alagna in the Vienna production (c) Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Poehn


  • Mark says:

    Did any well meaning colleague tell Martina Serafin to “break a leg,” before her performance?

  • Halldor says:

    This is exactly what Ellen Kent has always said. “Covent Garden goes on about its productions being ‘risky’. Well in my Tosca the singer jumps off a 20 foot wall. Now THAT’s risky”.

  • Jaybuyer says:

    How many Toscas have injured themselves jumping? I can’t believe this is still happening.

  • Robert Levin says:

    Many years ago, Renata Tebaldi freaked out as she was about to jump to her death in the Met’s production of Tosca and had to be literally pushed off by the guards. Evidently, the lights below had not been turned on and she could not see anything. She was particularly frightened because of the polio she contracted as young girl.

    • Max Grimm says:

      Wasn’t it also Mrs Tebaldi who, in another Tosca production, didn’t jump at all but ran offstage screaming, instead?

  • Elizabeth Owen says:

    I can’t remember her name but an American soprano broke her ankles at the dress rehearsal with Welsh National Opera in, I think 1992. She had insisted on wearing high heeled shoes in spite of being warned by staff. The production was rescued by the wonderful Suzanne Murphy.

  • hadrianus says:

    We had eaxctly the same problem with Mara Zampieri in a Zurich Opera performance of “Tosca” in the 90’s

  • Pamalap says:

    I was at that performance in Vienna. She sang beautifully. Overall best version of Tosca I’ve seen. At the end, everyone kept clapping to a closed curtain. It seemed like a very long time until a man came on stage and announced in German that she had been hurt. The curtain call then proceeded without her appearing. Most unfortunate that she was injured.