Dartford dog, Little Red, cast in opera La Boheme

PUBLISHED: 10:33 08 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:33 08 February 2017

Little Red is five years old

Little Red is five years old


The show is coming to Dartford this month

Red at homeRed at home

A dog from Dartford has been cast in the opera La Boheme, coming to Dartford’s stagein February.

Little Red will be treading the boards as Musetta’s dog in the cafe scene, with brass bands and lots of street children.

Little Red is a local Dartford dog, she is five years old and enjoys the company of people and other dogs. She is the host dog at The Little Dog Lodge a home boarding establishment which is also her home. She has participated in competitive obedience and also qualified for semi-finals of Scruffts at Cruffts Crossbreed of the year 2015. Red is not phased by crowds, noise or lights and has a very sweet nature and likes plenty of fuss. She is owned by Janet James, who will be appearing with Red as Musetta’s maid.

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.

Red is not afraid of bright lights or loud noisesRed is not afraid of bright lights or loud noises

“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.”

Ellen Kent 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 Musetta’s dog will also make an entrance.

Puccini’s masterpiece, La Boheme, is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes de la vie de boheme. Set in Paris, it focuses on the love between seamstress Mimi and poet Rodolfo.

The powerful and emotional La Boheme is the tragic tale of hopeless romance between the doomed, consumptive Mimi and penniless writer Rodolfo.

After falling in love instantly, Rodolfo later leaves Mimi due to her flirtatious behaviour, although he wracked by guilt since their life together has probably worsened Mimi’s delicate constitution. In true tragic opera fashion, the pair reunite briefly at the end before Mimi dies.

Ellen was inspired by reading George Orwell’s book Down and out in Paris, in her depiction of the extreme poverty in the backstreets and attics of Paris.

This classic tale of Parisian love and loss features many famous arias including Your Tiny Hand is Frozen, They Call Me Mimi, andMusetta’s Waltz.

The opera is sung in Italian with English surtitles.

La Boheme is coming to Dartford’s Orchard Theatre on February 19.

For tickets visit

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