Conductor Falls

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - 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. Ott told The Associated Press he fractured nine vertebrae, dislocated his shoulder and may have broken an ankle.

It happened when the lights were off and he 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 he did not injure his
spinal cord.

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

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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