The Vienna State Opera director was sent to the hospital and treated after he collapsed with severe back pain at a Sunday performance of Wagner opera. Franz Welser-Moest, who is also the director of the Cleveland Orchestra, collapsed near the close of the first act of the four hour long performance of Parsifal. The opera house reported that when he lifted up his baton he suffered from a sudden and demeaning attack of lumbago.
The show did go on in his absence as a colleague stepped in to fill his shoes. While Welser-Moest was temporarily admitted to the hospital he was released the same evening and allowed to go back to his home in the evening. The Vienna State Opera House, also referred to as the Wiener Staatsoper, is one of the largest and busiest opera houses on the globe known for producing more than 50 operas per year and conducting an overwhelming 200 performances.
Welser-Moest became the musical director of the house in 2010 when he replaced Seiji Ozawa the Japanese director that had to take a break from his duties due to a bout of illness. He has plenty of experience for the position as he previously has worked as a trained violinist with some of the most reputable orchestras on the globe.
Some of the orchestras he has played for include the Orchestras of Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and New York, the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and the philharmonic orchestras of Berlin and Vienna. In 2003 he was also recognised by the magazine Musical America as the orchestra chief of the year. In addition his current duties include directing the Cleveland Orchestra back in the United States.