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Update: Bolshoi violinist killed at work

We are receiving reports that a violinist in the Bolshoi orchestra, Viktor Sedov, died yesterday in the theatre. It appears he fell through a trapdoor in the pit, crashing below into the technical area.

One source tells Slipped Disc that the trapdoor may have been left open by a cleaning lady when Mr Sedov arrived early to work.

Our sympathies to his family and colleagues.

UPDATE: Some more details coming in: The pit had been raised to the same level as the stage for ease of cleaning. The violinist, arriving early for work, stepped off the stage onto what he thought as the pit, only to fall through the open trap.

The Bolshoi’s new director, Vladimir Urin, met the victim’s family this morning.

Events of this nature are not uncommon in Russian theatres. Three months ago, the acting director of Perm Opera and Ballet, Olga Enns, died after a similar stage mishap.


2nd UPDATE here.


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  1. If this had happened in the US, we’d be asking why the trap was open, and if it *had* to be open, why was it not roped off (or access prevented in some other manner).

    • Exactly, Jeffrey.

    • July 17, 2013
      Indeed very said when any person in our industry or visiting a stage has an incident such as this on a stage. I have spent many years and worked with many stages and groups to warn of this type of incident. I have also added a number of law suits to emphasize that these precious lives should not be taken in this manner….please, all of you in the industry be Due Diligent in checking your stages at all times. Even though it seems onerous to do so, it is the moral thing to do to save and protect lives. Dr. Randy Davidson

  2. One of the nicest lecturers in my musical college in Moscow ,wouldn’t hurt a fly ,I can’t believe he’s gone .

  3. Sixtus Beckmesser says:

    I was hurt at a theater in a small Midwestern town in a similar accident. The stagehands really didn’t know what they were doing and took no precautions. Management kindly paid for my trip to the emergency room, though. Watch your step, musicians!

  4. Sandra Peterson-Hardt says:

    Accidents around a stage area are not uncommon. The Metropolitan Opera has had their share…..

    • Professional designers and technicians try very hard to make theatres as safe as possible, but it’s impossible to make them 100% safe (and of course, some designers are more knowledgeable and dedicated than others).

      For one thing, it’s an ever-changing physical environment. Walls, doors, and even holes in the floor that were not there yesterday might be there today.

      The other issue is the human factor. I managed a theatre for 12 years, and in that time, we had only two accidents that required more than Band-Aids (For my non-US friends, Band-Aids are a brand of adhesive strips with a small piece of gauze in the middle). Both incidents involved our freight elevator, which had two steel doors, one rising from below and the other coming down from above.

      The first time, a trumpet player (mentioned only to keep this relevant to music) was in the elevator, playing around, and instead of using the strap on the inside of the door, reached around to the outside and, grabbing the handle, brought down the upper door, which of course brought up the lower door, and when they met in the middle they broke his hand.

      The second accident, you ask? Well, several months later, the same trumpet player, showing his friends how he broke his hand….

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