An opera singer was nearly killed on a French stage in what prosecutors say was a sabotage plot connected to a feud between stage hands.
American tenor Robert Dean Smith had to roll out of the way of a 467lbs boulder which was supposed to be suspended by cables two feet above him, but failed to come to a stop as planned.
It caused the audience to burst into laughter as his character was supposed to be dead, with the boulder symbolising his character’s gravestone in the Richard Wagner opera.
But the incident – which saw the huge rock fall to within four inches of the stage before someone triggered an emergency brake – prompted a six-year police investigation which has led to charges against a stage hand called Nicolas S.
Prosecutors accuse him of tampering with a computer system which controlled the cables in order to discredit a colleague