There was a bit of a crisis at Madrid’s Teatro Monumental last night during Mendelssohn’s Elijah, when David Wilson-Johnson was taken seriously unwell in mid-performance with Carlos Kalmar and the RTVE orchestra and chorus.
What on earth was to be done?
Ayayayay, tweeted one participant. We need an emergency Elijah!
# ocrtvenvivo One singer in the audience? Baritone preference .
Total emergency concert
# OCRTVEnvivo tweeted someone in the orchestra.
It was a Titanic SOS. Would anyone get there in time?
Step forward tenor Christian Elsner. Without so much as turning a hair, Christian simply sang both parts, one to the other, to audience jubilation.
I burst into tears of emotion, tweeted the soprano.
We asked Chrstian Elsner exactly what happened. He replied: ‘David Wilson-Johnson was not able to go on after the duetto with the widow and left stage…and I stood up and sang his full part AND mine.’
Is David okay? ‘I hope so…’ replies Christian. ‘They told me that I have only to sing the tenor part today.’
UPDATE: David Wilson-Johnson, it appears, was suffering from the effects of a pain-killer he was given to quell a migraine. He was treated in an ambulance outside the hall and heard the rest of the performance from there. ‘The medics were astonishingly friendly efficient and adorable,’ he tells us, ‘and my colleagues at the rtve have been so warm and helpful today…I only hope I can pull something extra special for them out of the bag in a few hours time…..’
It should be a high-octane broadcast tonight.