Severely-Burned Opera Actor Wesley Daniel to Return to Work as Understudy
Wesley Daniel, the Lyric Opera of Chicago actor who was badly burned in a dangerous stunt involving fire during a dress rehearsal, is cleared to return to work. The 24-year-old star will be back on stage playing an understudy for a stilt walker in Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg".
He suffered second degree burns to his face and throat when doing a fire-breathing stunt. The mishap happened when he tried to swig a flammable liquid and spit it onto a torch he was holding. Doctors who treated him said his injuries were akin to a severe sunburn.
The horrible incident was reportedly witnessed by many people. Some recalled that Daniel limped off stage and fell to the floor. The show, a nearly six-hour production, later opened two days after the mishap, but without the fiery stunt.
Daniel has been recovering at home after being released from Loyola University Medical Center. "We're very pleased to have Wesley back at Lyric," said the Lyric's general director Anthony Freud. "[We] are delighted that his recovery is largely complete."
"I feel terrific and am looking forward to putting this whole incident behind me and getting back on stage," Daniel said. "I am truly grateful for all the good wishes I've received over the past few weeks, but the coverage my accident generated was, quite frankly, overwhelming and I just want to get back to work with my colleagues."
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