Opera Australia (OA) has hit back at claims that the stairs at a venue where Carla Zampatti suffered a fatal fall were “dangerous”, and says it is conducting a full safety review.
The famous Aussie fashion died aged 78 on Saturday at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney after falling on stairs while attending an outdoor opening performance of OA’s La Traviata at Fleet Steps.
Zampatti’s tragic death prompted criticism of the venue from ABC chair Ita Buttrose, who called for OA to improve its safety standards.
“The stairs are very dangerous at the opera,” Buttrose told the public broadcaster.
“Install some rails because otherwise other people might fall as well.”
An OA spokesperson told 7News it was conducting a comprehensive review of the site and incident, as per its policies and procedures.
“OA is committed to all aspects of the safety of our site and patrons,” a spokesperson said.
“We confirm that no work was done to the stairs in question during the show. Prior to the interval, there was some minor work done in an area not related to the incident involving Ms Zampatti.
“In relation to the stairs/handrails, the steps are compliant. Some additional measures have also been taken to further enhance access to and from seating across the site.”
OA also paid tribute to Zampatti following her death on social media, describing her as “an Australian fashion icon and a passionate supporter of the arts who will be greatly missed”.
Opera Australia is deeply saddened by the news of Carla Zampatti’s passing.
Ms Zampatti was an Australian fashion icon and a passionate supporter of the arts who will be greatly missed.
Our thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with her family at this time.
— Opera Australia (@OperaAustralia) April 3, 2021
Featured image source: Wikimedia Commons/Eva Rinaldi