Burned Lyric Opera actor to be released Thursday

February 05, 2013

UPDATED. Actor Wesley Daniel, who sustained second-degree burns to his face during a dress rehearsal of Wagner’s Die Meistersinger Monday at the Lyric Opera, will be released from the hospital on Thursday.

The company issued a statement Tuesday afternoon quoting the actor’s father, Clifton Daniel, as saying that his son would likely return home on Thursday. Daniel has second-degree burns around his mouth, but his throat and lungs are “fine,” the statement said. Daniel is being treated at Loyola University Medical Center.

Daniel was performing a fire-spitting effect while walking on stilts in the final act of the opera when his mask appeared to catch fire. A Chicago Tribune photographer shooting the rehearsal, captured the accident.

A statement released by Lyric said that the residual flames were extinguished by fire guards and the performance was halted. Paramedics were called and took Daniel away to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He was later transferred to Loyola University Medical University.

After an investigation, the Chicago Fire Department allowed the performance to continue. The Lyric Opera said the effect will be discontinued from the production, scheduled to open Friday night.

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