Alarm as international soprano collapses in mid-aria

A performance of Benjamin Godard’s rarely-revived Dante at Versailles was halted last night after the French soprano Véronique Gens collapsed on stage.

A critic for, Laurent Bury, writes that Véronique, 49, appeared to lose her voice during a climactic aria. She then collapsed onto a desk, her head on her chest. A mezzo-soprano signalled for medical assistance, the performance stopped and the house was cleared.

Bury reports that the cause was a sudden drop in blood pressure.

We wish Véronique a speedy recovery.


veronique gens

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  • Translation clarification: according to M. Bury’s article, Ms. Gens did not collapse onto a desk, but clutched her music stand (“pupitre” means both words; this was a concert performance). In any case, one wishes a thorough recovery for this generous artist!

  • She did not clutch the music stand, because all had the partitur in the hands. She did fall very slowly and the mezzo did hold her for some seconds before Veronique Gens did slide very elegantly on the floor. This did seem even as a staging instruction. She was unconscious for at least some minutes. The last 20 seconds of the opera were not performed anymore.

  • It’s surprising that this doesn’t happen more often, taking into consideration some of the music singers cope with…

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