CASTING directors are on the hunt for a pedigree-ma donna to take a lead role when La Boheme comes to The Hexagon later this month.

International soloists have been selected from across the world to join the Spring tour of the Ukrainian National Opera of Kharkiv - but a prize pooch is still needed to play Muzetta's pet dog.

Producers are looking for a well-behaved, small dog, whose owner is also prepared to go onstage in costume to look after it when the romantic opera comes to town on April 29.

Award-winning opera director and producer, Ellen Kent, said: "People say never work with children or animals but I love to do both.

"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."

To audition your dog, send a photograph of the pet to Louise Delahunty at Derek Block Concert Promotions, 70-76 Bell Street, Marylebone, London NW1 6SP or email it to by April 16. A contact number and address and the dog's breed, height, weight, age and name must also be included

*Editor's note: Pity it's Puccini and not Bark!