Search is on for North East dog to take place in spotlight at Sunderland Empire

Has your pooch got star quality and even possibly the opera factor? Then they could win a place in the spotlight in the beautiful and romantic opera La Boheme coming to the Sunderland Empire on Saturday 11 March 2017.

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, dogs, goldfish and 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 on Saturday 11 March 2017.

To audition your dog, send a photograph to jules@ellenkent.co.uk by Monday 20 February 2017.  Please 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 directly.

Puccini La Boheme is one of the most romantic operas ever written and introduces the International soprano Alyona Kistenyova as Mimi and starring Olga Perrier, the international French Soprano as Musetta. The new tour is traditionally staged featuring beautiful sets and costumes, with the set reflecting the Bohemian art of the period and will include a brass band, snow effects and Musetta’s dog will also make an entrance.

Set in Paris, it focuses on the love between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo and this classic tale of Parisian love and loss features many famous arias including ‘Your Tiny Hand is Frozen’, ‘They Call Me Mimi’ and ‘Musetta’s Waltz’.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

* Cast subject to change.

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Perhaps Sunderland's most prominent landmark is Penshaw Monument. It was built in 1844 in honour of the first Earl of Durham, John George Lambton. Penshaw was modelled on Theseion, the Temple of Thesus in Athens.

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