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We Have A Dog!

Introducing the International soprano Alyona Kistenyova as Mimi and starring Olga Perrier, the international French Soprano as Musetta.

Betsy will be treading the boards as Musetta’s dog in the café scene with brass bands and lots of street children. Betsy is a Romanian recuse dog bought to the country from the Romanian Rescue Appeal UK. Her owner Carol Coupe (who will be appearing with Betsy as Musetta’s maid) gave us an insight into Betsy’s struggle in Romania, “Betsy was found wandering the streets of Burcharest, picked on by bigger dogs and was deprived of food when she was found”. Under the exceptional care of Carol and her family over the past 2 years, Betsy has grown with confidence and will thrive upon the stage.

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.”

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.

“Ellen Kent always includes extra touches and here we had a colourful carnival scene with street entertainers, a local brass, snow effects and a dog (very well behaved on the night).” – Bristol Post, 2013

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.

“I try to do opera that the audience can emotionally connect with, not just on a musical level but with the personal drama happening on the stage.”

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’ and ‘Musetta’s Waltz’.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

* Cast subject to change.

Ellen Kent’s La Boheme
The Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Monday 13 February


£18.50 to £35.50

Friends of The Grand £5 off

Under 26s £12.50 (first 50 tickets, weekdays only; subject to availability)


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