And the winner is...
After more than two weeks of suspense, the Sarasota Opera revealed today that a 13-year-old border collie mix by the name of Pede has been selected for the canine role in the upcoming production of Carlisle Floyd's "Of Mice and Men."
Pede beat out a field of six other candidates, including a seasoned Asolo Repertory canine thespian, to earn the role as the aged, herding dog belonging to the character Candy (sung by bass Andrew Gangestad). Pede, who is owned by Jean Smith of Arcadia, will be on stage for one scene before his character is shot off stage.
According to stage manager Francesca MacBeth, Pede has already begun attending rehearsals and "is doing a fantastic job."
Auditions for the role were held in the Opera House courtyard Feb. 5. Compensation for the paid position was not disclosed.
Performances of "Of Mice and Men" begin March 9 and run through March 23. For tickets, call 328-1300 or go to www.sarasotaopera.org.