It is a historical fact that three conductors died during Tristan. Any number of spectators have been carried lifeless out of Bayreuth. That’s the risk you take in doing Wagner.
The hazard extends, apparently, to any show connected to the old monster.
Simon Callow is doing a performance called Inside Wagner’s Head at Covent Garden’s Linbury Theatre. On the opening night, he struck the anvil a mighty blow with a hammer. Sparks flew. So did a sliver of anvil.
It flew, mercifully, over the heads of the unwitting audience, embedding itself in the leg of an innocent usher.
We are told on good authority that it took surgeons three hours to remove the Wagner prop.