The search is on for an Edinburgh pet to become an opera star at the Usher Hall? Here's how to get your pooch an audition

HAS your dog got star quality? If so, it could find itself in the spotlight when Puccini's La Boheme comes to the Usher Hall later this year.

Thursday, 30th January 2020, 4:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 30th January 2020, 5:21 pm
La Boheme

Yes if your pet pooch has what it takes to be an opera star and has dreams of being the next Lassie or Toto then they could win a place in the spotlight in the beautiful and romantic opera La Bohème, which comes to the Lothian Road venue on 26 February.

On the hunt for a canine guest star is award-winning opera director and producer Ellen Kent, who says, “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, dogs, 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.”

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If you think you pet fits the bill, here's what you need to know. Your dog needs to be well behaved, small, used to be people and quiet - and as his owner, you will need to be prepared to go onstage in costume to look after him or her.

To audition your dog, send a photograph to Angela Klappa at [email protected] and include your contact number and address as well as the breed, height, weight, age and name of your dog. If you are successful, you will be contacted by producers a week before the performance.

Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème, is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes de la vie de boheme.

Set in Paris, it focuses on the tragic love between seamstress Mimi and penniless poet Rodolfo. Ellen Kent's production brings one of the most romantic operas ever written to the stage in her new tour, traditionally staged featuring beautiful sets and costumes.

The set reflects the Bohemian art of the period and will include a brass band, snow effects and a full choir and orchestra.

Tickets for La Boheme are available from