The artistic director of GADDAFI: A LIVING MYTH has defended the controversial new musical in advance of its opening tonight (08SEP06) - insisting it will convert more people to opera. JOHN BERRY, the artistic director of the English National Opera (ENO) who are performing the musical at London's Coliseum, has high hopes for the song-and-dance extravaganza. And although the premise of the show may be unpopular - being based on Libyan dictator COLONEL GADDAFI - Berry is hoping the dub reggae infused show will tempt pop-lovers to give opera a chance. He says, "Friends of mine from a jazz or pop background say that the word opera itself puts them off. "If we attract a broad mix of cultures and backgrounds to the show and a handful of people say that they want to come to FIGARO, then we'll be delighted."