A lot of attention has been given to the fire breather effect in our new production of The Two Foscari.
The fire breather, an experienced professional, enters the stage with a lit self-extinguishing torch. On a pre-determined musical cue he fills his mouth with liquid, then blows the liquid through the flame of the torch.
The size of the fire ball is determined by the quantity of liquid the fire breather expels.
Development and testing of this effect have been taking place for months here at the LA Opera. LA Opera works closely with the Los Angeles Fire Department and acquires special permits for all open-flame effects like this. Extensive time was invested at the costume shop to optimize the fire breather’s costume.
At the conclusion of the effect the fire breather extinguishes the torch by releasing the “dead-man” switch on the handle of the torch. He then exits the stage, hands the torch to a union prop person and rinses his mouth.