At 104, Lola lives for opera

01:47, Jul 14 2014
Lola de la Haye
OPERA FAN: At 104, Lola de la Haye might just be the oldest person to attend a New Plymouth Operatic Society production. Its latest, The Phantom of the Opera, is just beautiful, she says.

Lola de la Haye might just be the world's most senior Phantom fan.

At 104 years old she is certainly New Plymouth most venerable musical appreciator and on Saturday extended her appreciation to the Operatic Society's latest stage show spectacular The Phantom of the Opera.

"Oh it was just an absolute thrill to be able to go to it. It really was lovely," she said at her apartment in Molly Ryan retirement village, before admitting she would have locked the door had she known the Taranaki Daily News was popping in for a visit.

One of Taranaki's most avid appreciators of the New Plymouth Operatic Society's productions, Lola has lost count of just how many shows she has seen. Her first was Rose Marie, soon after she moved to New Plymouth in 1957.

"Apart from last night, that was absolutely beautiful, there are several I remember well. Oliver. That was beautiful. I can still see Oliver sitting on the corner of this little house they had on stage. He was sitting on there playing the flute," she said.

Though her parents were great singers Lola said she was unable to hold a tune herself so her love of musicals had never progressed past watching them.


Being 104 she said she did not have the luxury to wonder about what musical she would like to see next as she could not be certain if she would still be around in 12 months.

Lola has featured several times in this newspaper in recent years. Once for reaching her century, another time for being one of New Plymouth's oldest drivers and again when a new reserve was named after her husband.

"I'm sick of it," she said.

The Phantom of the Opera runs until Saturday July 26.

Taranaki Daily News