Message from the Canadian-Austrian artist Michael Schade:
Yesterday, I was hurled head first INTO the orchestra Pit!!!!
It all happened so fast during our piano dress of our charming and wonderful Opera of „ Die Reise des kleinen Prinzen“, a gift to myself in memoriam of my brother with the Vienna Boys Choir, as a part of the stage right ladder and scaffolding collapsed (we were trying out a new design, as I enter through the house) just over the pit during my entrance!
All I remember, is feeling this overwhelming knowledge that something serious was about to happen, and that I was “going down”- and that I needed to turn in mid air, to avoid hitting my head and neck directly of the piano well below, which I remember was approaching at the speed of light! I must have succeeded, as I “bounced off” the side of the piano above the left side of the keyboard, vaulted back in a backwards somersault, and landed backwards on my right shoulder and rolled onto my back! I was winded, and somehow broke a left thumb nail which was bloody , and a right hand nail , and as I hit the ground getting a slight bump in the head – the poor lovely stage hand man really had his bell rung with falling scaffolding as he was “securing” the newly designed stage entry! I have bruised my chest and neck, and right hand ( which is slightly alarmingly swollen just now and just sore, so no Chopin Etudes for me tomorrow) but the point is, I am fine 🙏 , thanks to my guardian angel, and all the good help at the theatre!!
It could have been way, way, waaaay, worse and turning in mid air made me be able to roll off the piano rather than, well, heading face first into it!!!! All continued just fine and then well into the night, with our following stage and orchestra rehearsal!
I want to thank all at the MuTH (concert hall of the Vienna Boys Choir) for they were very caring and insisting on getting doctors ( and should I need any more help, I shall ask, promise!).
I just can’t believe it happened – I saw Nikolaus Harnoncourt at over 80 fall into the pit in Baden Baden while conducting our dress rehearsal of Zaide a few years back, then turn like a cat in mid air, land, roll, get up and continue rehearsal – but I NEVER thought I would join THAT club along with him, Ponelle, and Bjørling and a few more I am sure….
Opera is a dangerous sport , be careful out there kids and pros – Danke Schutzengel!