Falling For You …

After one of the most spectacular summers in memory, something … or rather someone … is in the air …

Ana Maria Martinez singing with Placido Domingo for President Clinton
Ana Maria Martinez singing with Placido Domingo for President Clinton

First it was one of our website clients – grammy-award-winning Soprano Ana Maria Martinez. For those of you not familiar with her artistry, Ana Maria graces the cover of September’s Opera Magazine and appears regularly with the likes of Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli.

There she was, mesmerizing audiences as the mermaid in Rusalka at Glyndebourne this summer when she became entangled in fishing nets decorating the set. In slow motion, struggling to remain upright, Ana Maria fell off the stage down into the orchestra pit on top of the cello section of the London Philharmonic! Thankfully, after being rushed to hospital, Ana Maria was only bruised and has gone on performing for audiences all over the world. In true show biz fashion, Ana Maria’s understudy stepped in and finished the performance to cheers all around. The show must go on!

Not long ago, Steve Tyler of Aerosmith fell off a rainy catwalk above a stage at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

According to the BBC, a storm had knocked out their sound system: “They were playing Love In An Elevator and no one could hear them any more.” Apparently after about a minute, Steven Tyler came out to entertain the troops, dancing in a storm high on a catwalk overhead the audience.

Anything to save the show …

But then, “during a spin, Steven lost his balance and fell into the audience, hitting his head on a railing as he fell. He was airlifted to hospital and thankfully, everything turned out fine.”

412px-ConanLast Friday, Conan O’Brian was taping a stunt with Teri Hatcher when he fell backwards and hit his head, suffering a mild concussion. A rerun was aired, and Conan was released from hospital only to joke about his next stunt: “Tune in tomorrow when Eva Longoria pushes me down an elevator shaft!”

That same day, September 25, the North West Florida Daily News reports that: “David Ott, former conductor and music director of the Philharmonic of Northwest Florida, had just finished conducting the debut of his new opera, “The Widow’s Lantern,” for the Pensacola Opera.

“All the lights were off, and I went back to get my score. … I stepped onto what I thought was the floor (of the orchestra pit) but there was nothing there.”

Ott fell 14 feet into the basement below the orchestra pit. “All I could think was that I was falling into hell,” he recalled with a grim laugh. “I was so glad when I hit because it finally stopped. It was the best of times and the worst of times,” Ott quipped. The conductor was seriously injured but is now recovering well and expects to be back conducting and composing soon.

The show must go on!

In many years of producing concert tours for Columbia Artists, I remember heroic efforts by artists prevailing through illness, personal crisis and force majeure weather in order to arrive, ready, willing and able to perform at the next theatre. On one tour a bad storm left us short-handed, so I drove the St. Louis Symphony’s instruments overnight across the Appalachians in a blizzard I’ll never forget. Dozens of tractor-trailers were strewn helter-skelter across the freeway and I was the only thing moving that night. But the orchestra made their Lincoln Center concert.

The show must go on.

Here in Vancouver, we are more privileged than many  realize to have such a spectacularly gifted troupe of performing and visual artists in our midst. Many cities around the world would give anything to have an award-winning orchestra, or a theatre community or recital series as extraordinary.

Our community of artists prove time and again their greatness and their devotion to the public. They are literally falling all over themselves to give everything they have in order to enlighten, amuse and move us.