Todesteppich

Little Stevie reports on last night’s “danger carpet” incident during the Met’s Tristan:

At the beginning of Act 3, about 2 minutes into the dialogue between Kurwenal and the shepherd, the mat that slowly carries Tristan downstage during the prelude lost its grip and sent him sliding like a toboggan head first upside down right into the prompter’s box!  It appeared he took the blow to the back of his head or neck, but it was pretty severe-looking and -sounding.  The audience gasped en masse.  Instantly the orchestra stopped, and about six people ran onstage to attend to Gary Lehman.  They got him to stand up, stagehands remounted the mat, and then the curtain closed.  Only moments later Gelb [?] came onstage to announce that Gary was O.K. and planned to continue but needed a few minutes to regroup and have some water.  They began the scene again, to excited and thankful applause from the audience, and with the exception of a bit of scratchiness in the middle of the voice towards the middle of the big monologue Gary sang fine.

UPDATE: For those of you not familiar with the geography of the Met’s Tristan production, here’s a schematic diagram of the mishap.

tristan_path.png

(N.B.: Obviously, since the accident occurred early in the third act, Jane Eaglen was not in place to cushion the impact. This diagram is based on a photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.)

Counter Critic also reports on the incident.