A secluded yet warm and inviting venue. This drive away from the city buzz is worth it. The No 1 Ladies Opera House is an all-in-one package, if you are looking for a serene environment with a background of bush night while on interval from the opera serenades in the intimate theatre. All this you would get in this old converted garage.
Such moments will be lost to the legions of friends of the Opera House as it relocates to a place yet to be identified.
According to Mimi Shand, who runs the Opera House, their lease agreement has ended and the owners want the place back hence their search for a new home. Shand said they are still looking for a place and hope to re-open mid-2013.
She added that because of the history and concept behind the Opera House, it had become a hit even to tourists who always wanted to visit this place to see what connected it so much to the renowned author Alexander McCall Smith.
Besides that, the venue had been unique even in the kind of shows that it hosted. This afforded some performers an audience, which they otherwise would not have. “The uniqueness of this place had been the location, brand and product.That is it was in a quiet place, where one can enjoy a meal in a coffee shop under the tree, a theatre for live shows and reconnect with the concept behind the serialised No 1 ladies Detective book,” stated Shand.
Shand said the move might also be a blessing in disguise since some of their patrons had time and again complained that it was out of reach and that with their new home, which would be in town, they may become a bit more accessible. The Opera House closes ‘shop’ officially on December 1 but will hold its last show next week Wednesday.
It will feature some of Botswana’s finest opera singers who have branded the genre to locals and made it a genre of choice.To headline the Wednesday show is Andy Staples, a tenor from Opera for Change from Scotland. Local acts will include Tshenolo Batshogile (soprano), Boyce Batlang (tenor), Gape Motswaledi (baritone), Sedibeng Choir and Verity Knight (piano).
The show is dubbed Opera-Mystery and Magic will include dinner under the Opera House trees. The organiser of the show, David Slater, told BG Style that it is an ideal way to close this venue by hosting an opera evening that is best associated with the venue and also remembering what it has stood for since it opened doors five years ago.