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CASTLE ON MAIN (article first published : 2005-10-6)

The Castle on Main situated at 24A Old Main Road Gillitts is a house of great history which is now being made available to the public as a unique performance venue, conference facility and B&B.

Dr Heinrich Haape, considered by many as the "Father of Opera in Natal" built the Castle for his wife Martha, who was a much-renowned principal soprano in South Africa as well as abroad. An example of Dr. Haape’s work was the oratorio Castle 1699 which premiered in Cape Town in Castle Courtyard when 250 voices and 30 actors performed.

It is believed that the Castle on Main should be opened to the public and made a heritage site in the area. Martha Haape still lives in close by and it is hoped that she will be the first guest for tea at the Castle in its new public role.

At one time, the Castle was the home of music in Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) where many famous works were performed by numerous personalities and celebrities such as Ge’ Korsten, Wendy Fine, Michael Gritten, Olaf Pretorius, Prof Elizabeth Sneddon and Welcome Msomi. The acoustics in the Great Hall are considered remarkable.

“In order to assist in the continuing upkeep and renovations of this heritage site,” says Derek Geddes, events coordinator and manager for the Castle on Main, “we are looking for producers and performers interested in stage shows.”

Contact Derek Geddes for ideas or proposals on 072 624 2424.




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