In fact, her return to the stage will place her in a replica of the Roman Colosseum – a 4,000-seater rising from the ruins of the old Circus Maximus at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where she has inked a minimum three-year deal giving her the run of the joint for 200 shows annually beginning in March 2003.

The amphitheatre is being designed specifically for Dion, who is joining forces with Cirque du Soleil director Franco Dragone to create a spectacular theatrical performance. Dragone is the creator of the Vegas Cirque du Soleil shows, “O” at the Bellagio and “Mystère” at Treasure Island, which bookend Caesars Palace.

Anschutz Entertainment Group company Concerts West will present the show, and Dragone and CDA (Dion and husband René Angélil’s production company) will design the extravaganza.

Dion, Angélil and their baby boy will apparently make Las Vegas home for the duration of the run.

“If you think about it, what a wonderful way for them both to be a parent and be there for their child,” Concerts West’s John Meglen told Pollstar. “They can go to work for a couple of hours a night and come home.”

Meglen said the specifics of the show are being worked out but it is expected it to be along the lines of a Vegas-style mega-production. The details are “part of the surprise,” but Meglen said to expect Dion to perform her hits as well as new music.

“René and Celine wanted to do something that nobody else had ever done before and create, as we call it, the next step in the evolution of live shows,” Meglen said. “You marry the genius of a man like Franco Dragone and the number one female artist in the world, and you obviously come up with a show that you can’t tour. It needs to sit down in one place, so what better place to do this in than Las Vegas.”

Nothing exceeds like excess, and a faux-Roman Empire edifice in the heart of Vegas’s decadent Strip does seem well-suited for a Dion comeback after what will have been four years off by the time the production debuts.

From her blockbuster song “My Heart Will Go On” from the equally gargantuan film, “Titanic,” to her impossibly lavish 1994 “Canadian Royal Wedding” to Angélil, Dion, the youngest of 14 children, doesn’t do anything the no-frills way.