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Head Injury Onstage Causes Real Bloodshed During Met’s “Lucia”

Michael Fabiano stepped in to perform in the Met's "Lucia" on Wednesday night and sustained a head injury

Michael Fabiano stepped in to perform in the Met's "Lucia" on Wednesday night and sustained a head injury

Michael Fabiano performing in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday night Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Michael Fabiano performing in Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera on Wednesday night Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor is famous for the title character’s mad scene, when she arrives at her wedding party covered in her husband’s blood after murdering him to avoid their pending nuptials.

But during a performance of this popular work at the Metropolitan Opera there was real bloodshed on stage, when tenor Michael Fabiano sustained a head injury while performing the role of Edgardo last Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Fabiano replaced sick tenor Joseph Calleja after receiving only seven hours’ notice, just enough time for him to catch a train to New York City from Philadelphia and perform in a production he had never in seen in his life, let alone rehearsed.

Fabiano reported to the Telegraph that, “Once I got to The Met, I didn’t have time to study. That was it, I had to do costume, shove food down my throat, meet the conductor, put the costume on, go on stage that’s really what it was.”

During the performance itself, Fabiano hit his head when he exited the stage quickly, causing blood to pour down the side of his face, just 10 minutes before his big scene.

“I ran off stage and ran into a dark area and hit my head into a light, and really hit the deck,” Fabiano said to the Telegraph.

At the Met, which programmed 26 operas for the 2014-15 season, rehearsal time on stage is often extremely limited.

When singers step in as last-minute replacements, lack of preparation during already brief rehearsal periods can cause serious hazards to performers and technical staff.

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