A driving service is making a night out at the opera easier for many Hawke's Bay residents.

People who buy a ticket for the normal price through Driving Miss Daisy for next Thursday's Madame Butterfly opera performance in Napier will receive free transport to and from the event and a complimentary supper.

Driving Miss Daisy director Melanie Harper said the initiative, which started last year, was being run to enable those who might have difficulty with transportation to enjoy an evening excursion to the opera.

"Whether it's because they don't like driving at night, they are worried about parking or they don't have a friend free that evening to accompany them.


"We will provide door-to-door transportation and some supper, with the only cost to them being that of the opera ticket.

"It was a huge success last year."

It was great to be able offer people a night out as well as supporting Festival Opera who helped young people through Project Prima Volta, she said.

The opportunity was also beneficial for people who lived alone and didn't have anyone to go with.

Patrons would all sit together and would get a catered support during intermission in a special area.

Last year some people who had taken advantage of the tickets had said they had not seen the city lights in years because they no longer went out at night, she said.

"The majority of our clients are elderly, and we love being able to give them a sense of independence through our companion driving service.

"We are also huge supporters of Festival Opera who are producing Madame Butterfly, and many of our clients are wanting to go.

"So, we thought it would be a nice way of providing them with free and safe transportation from their home to the Municipal Theatre and home again and also provide them with a light supper."

Driving Miss Daisy had approached rest homes who were supportive but she wanted to extend the special offer to other opera lovers in Hawke's Bay who didn't want to drive.

Hastings resident Jenny Connor said she was excited to be using the "wonderful" service on Thursday night because she loved opera and did not like driving at night.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the opera, the excitement and not having to drive myself.

"I'm just so thrilled that Miss Daisy has a service for us."

The exclusive offer is open to people who live in the Havelock North, Hastings, Taradale, and Napier city boundaries.

Transport numbers are limited and are offered on a first-in-first-served basis but there are still some tickets left.

For more information or to book call 06 877 0363.