Conductor breaks back in fall from stage

September 28, 2009 1:40:27 PM PDT
A Florida Panhandle conductor is recovering after falling 14 feet into the empty space below a moveable orchestra pit on the opening night of an opera he had written. David Ott fell Friday after the debut of "The Widow's Lantern," an original work written for the Pensacola Opera. He broke nine vertebrae, dislocated his shoulder and may have broken an ankle.

The accident happened when the lights were off and Ott went to retrieve his music, not realizing the Pensacola Orchestra pit had been raised to stage level. He says he landed flat on his back on the concrete basement floor below and that he was lucky his injuries were not more severe.

He was recovering at home Monday and hopes to conduct again soon.

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