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Puccini: for yourM pooch! OPERA: High note for dog owners.

Byline: By Tony Collins

IF you ever imagined your dog winning Crufts, but it lacked the pedigree to pull it off, then canine stardom could still beckon.

Hundreds of West Midlands Fido's and Rover's, tired of leading a dull dog's life, are being invited to howl at the moon and "audition" for a part on the theatrical stage.

Ellen Kent Productions and Opera International are coming to the city's Alexandra Theatre on June 2 and 3 with one of the most romantic operas every written.

Puccini's La Boheme will be performed by international soloists, a 40-piece orchestra and large chorus from the Ukrainian National Opera of Odessa and the Chisinau National Opera.

Every role in the cast has been filled except one - a pet dog that serves as a companion for Muzetta.

So Ellen Kent is inviting the people of the West Midlands to volunteer their dogs for the role, with a place also on stage for the owner.

A spokesman for the production said: "This is an opportunity for someone's pet to shine on stage during their five minutes of fame in the spotlight.

"As the owner of the dog you need to be prepared to go on stage, in costume, to look after your pet and be responsible for your own safety. So without further hesitation, let's find our star."

Dog owners are invited to send photographs of their pet to Liz White, Ellen Kent & Opera International, The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent, Me4 4TZ for consideration. You should include a contact number and address as well as the breed, height, weight, age and name of the dog. Ellen Kent Productions will contact the owner no later than one week before the June 2 and 3 performances.

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PAWS FOR THOUGHT... Puccini's La Boheme.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 12, 2006
Words:296
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