BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Entertainment: Arts  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Film
Music
TV and Radio
Showbiz
Arts
Reviews
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 1 July, 2002, 12:17 GMT 13:17 UK
Singer catches fire at Royal Opera
The Queen Of Spades, photo: Catherine Ashmore/Royal Opera House
Susan Chilcott (centre): "Amused" by the incident
Soprano Susan Chilcott has escaped unharmed after her dress caught fire on stage at London's Royal Opera House.

The singer was performing in Tchaikovsky's The Queen Of Spades when a candle set fire to the train of her dress.

Members of the audience shouted at her but Chilcott carried on with her aria, unaware of the danger.

Susan Chilcott, photo: Catherine Ashmore/Royal Opera House
Chilcott (left) thought fire officer was an intruder
A member of staff and a fire officer then ran on stage and put out the blaze with a water extinguisher.

The source of the blaze was a candle used by the character Hermann to burn a love letter.

A Royal Opera House spokesman told BBC News Online: "All that happened was that the other singer did not blow the candle out.

"There will be, as usual, an extensive investigation.

"But at every performance there is a trained fire officer in the wings watching, which is why he could put out the fire immediately."

Ms Chilcott plays Lisa in the acclaimed production, which has featured tenor Placido Domingo in previous performances.

The tenor role, of the soldier Hermann, was being sung by Russian Vitali Tarachenko on Saturday.

"We've spoken to Susan Chilcott and she said she thought the person coming on stage was an intruder. On reflection she finds it all quite amusing," said the spokesman.

Flames

The cast were said to have carried on with Saturday's show with barely a pause, although when the performance resumed with the line "we are safe now" there was laughter from the audience.

The company said it has no plans to stop using the candles in the production.

"We often have naked flames in production.

"At the end of our production of Don Giovanni, when he goes into hell, there are extraordinary pyrotechnics.

"But there are always rigorous procedures in place," added the Royal Opera House spokesman.

See also:

26 Jun 02 | Music
26 Jun 02 | Music
06 Jun 02 | Arts
17 May 02 | Music
01 May 02 | Arts
28 Mar 02 | Arts
06 Aug 98 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Arts stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Arts stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes