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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 16:36 GMT
Dawn French to make opera debut
Dawn French
French is best known for work with comedy partner Jennifer Saunders
Comic Dawn French is to appear in a Royal Opera House production of the The Daughter of the Regiment in January.

The star has a non-singing role in the comic opera, which tells the story of a baby adopted by an army regiment.

Vocal duties will be taken on by French soprano Natalie Dessay and the Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez. The opera runs for three weeks from 11 January.

French has previously appeared in West End productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and My Brilliant Divorce.

Earlier this year, she joined Alison Moyet for Smaller, a play about a schoolteacher caring for her disabled mother.

The Daughter of The Regiment, by Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti, is rarely staged due to the extremely taxing roles for the tenor and lead soprano.

The tenor is expected to sing nine high Cs in succession.

It was last seen at the Royal Opera House in 1967, when the lead roles were taken by Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti.

French is currently starring in the BBC One comedy Jam and Jerusalem, which she wrote with comedy partner and co-star Jennifer Saunders.

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