The show must go on for Greek soprano after ferry fire

Greek opera star Dimitra Theodossiou talks to the Associated Press during an interview in Rimini, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014. Theodossiou was among the passengers of the Norman Atlantic ferry that caught fire in the Adriatic Sea Sunday, Dec. 28. She told the Associated Press she was 18 hours on the deck before being rescued and taken to a hospital in the Italian town of Lecce where she was treated for hypothermia. Theodossiou described a harrowing wait for rescuers on the bridge of the ship. She said men had rushed forward from lower decks, even after being told to"give precedence to children, the elderly and women." (AP Photo/Marco Vasini)

RIMINI, Italy (AP) — Dimitra Theodossiou survived the Greek ferry disaster, but took no time off to recover from the traumatic evacuation: The Greek soprano was back at work Tuesday, rehearsing for her New Year’s Day debut in Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco.”

Theodossiou was one of the most vocal survivors of the Norman Atlantic fire, willingly recounting to anyone who would listen how there was no fire alarm, how the crew provided no instructions to frantic passengers, and how the passengers themselves pushed and shoved to get onto the coveted helicopter baskets.

On Tuesday, she hadn’t changed her tune, but she tried to put the trauma behind her.

As a result of the ferry disaster, performing now “is a challenge for me. That’s the way I am,” she said during a break in rehearsal.

Theodossiou plays the lead female soprano, Abigaille, in the Verdi classic being performed at a stadium in the Adriatic port city of Rimini. “Nabucco” tells the story of how the Jews are conquered and exiled by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar; Abigaille is his eldest daughter and is involved in one of the romantic subplots.

Theodossiou was adamant that the show — and life — must go on, despite the terrifying experience.

“I am a warrior,” she said.

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