A DOG owned by a Bolton News journalist will be making its stage debut tomorrow — in an opera.

Bolton News writer Irma Heger’s Yorkshire Terrier has been chosen to play a part in Puccini’s La Boheme at Manchester Opera House.

The petite four-year-old pooch will portray a pet dog owned by character Muzetta, a soprano singer.

Ozzy will star alongside international soloists selected from across the world to join the celebrated Chisinau National Opera and Philharmonic Orchestra.

Many in the business would declare award-winning producer and director Ellen Kent barking mad for employing an animal on stage.

But Ellen 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 called Holly Go-Lightly was in one of my productions and was an instant hit.

“Since then we’ve had horses, goldfish and even a golden eagle with a six-feet 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’re a nation of animal lovers after all.”

Ozzy’s owner will also feature in the show which premiered in 1896, appearing as the maid servant of Musetta in a cafe scene at the start of act two.

The story of La Boheme plays out in 19th century Paris and follows the tragic love between poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimi.