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updated: 2/5/2013 6:21 AM

Fire blower burned during Lyric Opera rehearsal

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Associated Press

A Lyric Opera of Chicago performer was burned after setting his head afire during a dress rehearsal of a production of "Die Meistersinger von Nurenberg."

Wesley Daniel, who plays a fire-blowing stilt walker, on Monday suffered burns after putting alcohol in his mouth and attempting to blow fire. According to Lyric Opera spokeswoman Magda Krance, Daniel was wearing a flameproof costume and mask when the incident occurred.

Chicago paramedics took the 24-year-old Daniel to Northwestern Memorial Hospital suffering from burns to his face and throat. He was later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in critical condition.

Krance said the fire-blowing effect had been approved by the Chicago Fire Department but has been removed from future performances.

Opera officials said the rehearsal continued briefly before being halted by union rules.

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