The Opera Ireland Company finds itself in a bizarre position three weeks before the opening night of their production of Giuseppe Verdi's ‘La Traviata’ in the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin.

Eleven kilos of cocaine with a street value of almost 900,000 euro were seized by British customs officers on board a truck transporting sets and costumes for the production from Germany to Dublin.

The truck and its contents have been impounded in Dover and the driver has been arrested.

Director of Opera Ireland David Calopy finds himself dealing with a completely unprecedented situation.

Unfortunately that truck contains very very important items such as all the costumes and all the stage props and all the elements of the set which need to be altered for the Gaiety stage.

Negotiations are under-way with UK customs to release the truck and in the meantime, in the best traditions of show-business, the show must go on.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 26 October 2005. The reporter is Peter Leonard.