The tenor was left twiddling his thumbs when the Romanian soprano missed her cue during the Vienna State Opera’s Tosca.

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann was left waiting on stage when his co-star, Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, missed her entrance in the third act of the Vienna State Opera’s production of Puccini’s Tosca at the weekend. The conspicuous absence was caught on video and shared online by an audience member. Kaufmann sang to the orchestra’s accompaniment, and in Italian, “Non abbiamo il soprano” (We don’t have a soprano), eliciting much laughter from the audience. After waiting a little longer, the tenor shrugged to the audience, stood up and asked the audience, in German, to excuse them.

The soprano’s tardiness came after Kaufmann sang an encore of his aria E lucevan le stelle. According to a report in the New York Times, a spokesman for the opera house denied any backstage drama and claimed that the mix up happened because Gheorghiu returned to her dressing room when she realised Kaufmann was reprising his aria. In a past performance there had been a pause for applause following the encore, but not so in this performance, which allegedly led to Gheorghiu’s late arrival, leaving Kaufman to twiddle his thumbs on stage for over a minute.

The opera was soon back on track, however, Gheorghiu arriving on stage to embrace Kaufmann.