NAMES IN THE NEWS : Operatic 'Nurse' Needs Doctor

From Times Wire Services

Patrons of the Metropolitan Opera got a little more drama than they had anticipated when mezzo-soprano Helga Dernesch fainted on stage.

Dernesch, who was playing the vocally demanding role of Nurse in Richard Strauss' "Die Frau ohne Schatten," "paused, coughed and fell to the floor" about 50 minutes into the 60-minute first act of the three-act opera Monday, said Metropolitan spokesman Charles Sheek.

"Then the curtain was brought down and we decided to take an intermission," he said.

Dernesch was attended by the house doctor, who concluded that "she may be a little anemic, but she's fine and she's going home," said Sheek.

The opera resumed with another singer, Diane Curry, singing the part, Sheek said.

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