OPERA impresario Ellen Kent is well known for including animals in her shows, writes Lesley Potter.
Last year’s production of Bizet’s Carmen at the New Theatre Oxford included among others a particularly stubborn donkey in the plaza scenes outside the tobacco factory, and in one instance he had to be coaxed off-stage with a carrot.
This year, the touring opera company is bringing La Bohème to the Wycombe Swan, and the producers are looking for a dog to play Muzetta’s pet for the show on March 4.
Ms 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 even a golden eagle with a six foot wingspan on stage.
“Many years ago when we last did La Bohème 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.”
In order to secure the part, dogs need to be well-behaved and small, and the owner will need to be prepared to go on stage in costume to look after him or her. To audition your dog send a photograph to Sadie Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org including your contact number, name and address, and breed, height, weight, age and name of your dog. Successful applicants will be contacted a week before the performance.
* For tickets for La Bohème call 01494 512000 or visit www.wycombeswan.co.uk