Conductor Ott survives opera orchestra-pit fall

Posted on: September 29, 2009

In Tuesday’s (9/29) Northwest Florida Daily News, Kari Barlow reports, “Musician and conductor David Ott is recovering from serious injuries he suffered during a 14-foot fall from the stage at the University of West Florida. … Ott was walking across the Mainstage Theatre stage Friday night to retrieve a musical score just after the first performance of ‘The Widow’s Lantern,’ a full-length piece he wrote for the Pensacola Opera. ‘After the opera, the orchestra pit was raised back to stage level so the musicians could get their instruments, I guess,’ Ott said. ‘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) and there was nothing there.’ He fell 14 feet into the basement below the orchestra pit. He landed flat on his back, breaking nine vertebrae, dislocating his shoulder and injuring an ankle. … He was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital, where he remained overnight for observation. Jerome Shannon, Pensacola Opera music director, stepped in as conductor for a repeat performance of the ‘The Widow’s Lantern’ on Sunday, and Ott was able to attend.”

Posted September 29, 2009