Could Your Dog Be An Opera Star

If your pet pooch is the canine equivalent of Brad Pitt or Scarlett Johansson, then they could take a place in the spotlight in the beautiful and romantic opera La Boheme, coming to the Pavilion Theatre in Bournemouth next month.

International soloists have been selected from across the world to join the Ukrainian National Opera of Kharkiv’s spring tour – but there is still one part to be cast, the role of Muzetta’s pet dog.

So, will it be your Shih Tzu that shines, your Pomeranian that preens or your Poodle that promenades its perfection on stage? Your canine thespian could be a Yorkshire terrier, Chihuahua, Dachshund – or any small, well-behaved dog.

Award-winning opera director and producer Ellen Kent said:

“People say never work with children or animals but I love to do both. The first time was 20 years ago when my pet cat Holly Go-Lightly was in one of my productions and was an instant hit. Since then we’ve had horses, goldfish and once even a golden eagle with a 6ft wingspan on stage.

“Many years ago when we last did La Boheme and asked local people to volunteer their pets it was a huge success. We even used a rescue dog once and found him dozens of new owners!

“We’re a nation of animal lovers after all. I’m sure there is plenty of doggie talent out there.”

Your pet needs to be well behaved and small – and as his owner, you will need to be prepared to go onstage in costume to look after him or her.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles, La Boheme is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes de la vie de boheme and focuses on the love between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo. After falling in love instantly, Rodolfo later leaves Mimi due to her flirtatious behaviour, although he is wracked by guilt since their life together has probably worsened Mimi’s delicate constitution. In true tragic opera fashion, the pair reunite briefly at the end before Mimi dies.

Presented by Derek Block Concert Promotions, one of the biggest international promoters in the entertainments industry, the tour visits Bournemouth on March 24.

International Korean sopranos Elena Dee and Maria Tsonina take the leading role of Mimi and Muzetta, while “ladies favourite” Andriy Perfilov is Rodolfo. They are joined by a 70-strong company including tenor Ruslan Zinevych, who has sung with Pavarotti and performed Ellen’s operas at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Conductor Gheorghe Stanciu, artistic director of the Constanta Opera in Romania, has joined the tour, bringing a new focus to the music, provided by the esteemed Kharkiv Theatre Orchestra.

To audition your dog, sent a photograph to Louise Delahunty at Derek Block Concert Promotions, 70-76 Bell Street, Marylebone, London NW1 6SP or email her at Please include your contact number and address as well as the breed, height, weight, age and name of your dog. The closing date is March 5. If you are successful, we will contact you a week before the performance.

For further information on the 75-date UK and Ireland tour of Madama Butterfly, La Traviata and La Boheme, go to or Derek Block Classical Arts on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @DBClassicalArts.

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