Here’s what happened on Saturday at the Royal Opera in Stockholm, according to our anonymous insider.
Fifteen minutes into a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, the conductor was too unwell to continue. After a crisis meeting backstage, a member of Kungliga Hovkapellet (the orchestra of the Royal Opera) stepped forward and conducted the whole performance faultlessly and with great aplomb, never (we are told) having conducted his own orchestra before.
The indisposed conductor was Eva Ollikainen.
The hero of the hour was Andrej Nikolaev, a member of the orchestra’s second violin section.
Let’s hear it for the seconds….
By the way, not a word of these heroics has appeared (so far as google can tell) in the Swedish press.
UPDATE: We’ve just heard from Eva that she has recovered from a severe stomach flu and will resume conducting Nutcracker tonight.