We all like a little drama, don't we? That's what opera's all about. Joyce DiDonato went well beyond the call of duty providing it at the Royal Opera House tonight in Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Shortly after finishing Una voce poco fa, alone on the bare stage, she walked to the corner and her leg just seemed to give way under her. There was nothing to trip over - perhaps she just slipped.
She hauled herself up and carried on singing, but it was clear from her limp that all was not well, and her next appearance was with a walking stick, still limping.
A ROH spokesman announced before the second half that she'd sprained her ankle but was going to carry on despite the pain. And she did - with all her usual sparkle - wielding a flower-bedecked crutch as if it were just some fashion accessory. After all, that's what Rosina would do, isn't it?
She horsed around at the curtain call, waving the crutch in the air, but she didn't look her usual happy self.
No word at this stage whether she'll complete the rest of the run, but I suspect from this showing she'll try her best. Even if it means a wheelchair.
*** Lots more about the show tomorrow! ***
UPDATE - Joyce has in fact BROKEN HER LEG!
She was diagnosed with a fractured fibula (calf bone)and she's now in a cast. This is an incredibly painful injury - a friend of mine recently suffered the same break and nearly passed out with the pain before the ambulance arrived (and had difficulty even sitting comfortably in her ROH seat two weeks after the event). So how Joyce managed to soldier on for three hours is a mystery. Talk about a trouper!
More details - and photos - from Joyce herself on her blog, here.