Lyric Opera Performer Burned in Stiltwalking Stunt to Return to Stage

By DNAinfo Staff on February 22, 2013 6:51pm  | Updated on February 23, 2013 8:29am

CHICAGO — The Lyric Opera stiltwalker who accidentally set his face on fire during a dress rehearsal earlier this month has been cleared to return to work by his doctor.

Wesley Daniel, 24, received second-degree burns on his face and neck in front of a crowd of 1,000 during a "fire-spitting," stunt gone-wrong Feb. 4.

Daniel will be an understudy for two stiltwalkers, who perform as part of the third act of Richard Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg," according to a statement from the Lyric Opera.

Madga Krance, a Lyric Opera spokeswoman, said the fire-breathing stunt has been taken out of the show.

Daniel's father, Clifton Daniel, said earlier this month he didn't think his son would be performing any more fire-breathing stunts.

"I feel terrific and am so looking forward to putting this whole incident behind me and getting back on stage," Daniel said in a statement.

Doctors said Daniel's injuries were like a "bad sunburn" when he was released from Loyola University Medical Center Feb. 7.

"We are very pleased to have Wesley back at Lyric and are delighted that his recovery is largely complete," said Lyric general director Anthony Freud in a statement.

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