Here are 15 sporting and cultural events to add to your calendar in November.
“The late mail is that the long shot can win by a furlong if the track’s heavy and he draws a good barrier.” Confused? Don’t worry if you’re a “mug punter” and don’t understand racing lingo; the Melbourne Cup is one day at the races that everyone can enjoy, with as much to see in the crowd as there is on the track.
WHERE Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne
WHEN November 3
NSW, QLD, SA, VIC
American pop star Taylor Swift is celebrating the stellar success of her fifth album, 1989 (which has sold more than five million copies), with this world tour. She’ll perform in Sydney (November 28), Brisbane (December 5), Adelaide (December 7-8) and Melbourne (December 10-12), with Australia’s Vance Joy in support.
WHERE Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne
WHEN November 28-December 12
This year marks the 100th time players have teed off for what is now the oldest golf tournament in Australia (the competition was established in 1904 but called off during World War I and II). Former world No. 1 Adam Scott is coming home to compete for the trophy, which has been held aloft by greats Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman.
WHERE The Australian Golf Club, Sydney
WHEN November 26-29
The sleepy seaside village of Queenscliff, on the Bellarine Peninsula in southern Victoria, will come alive with the sound of music during this three-day festival. The line-up includes an exciting mix of Australian acts such as brother-and-sister indie duo Angus & Julia Stone, Something for Kate singer Paul Dempsey and neo-soul/electronica outfit Hey Frankie.
WHEN November 27-29
It’s been dominated by Australian winners in its 36-year history but some of the biggest international names in golf have donned the victor’s gold jacket at this prestigious tournament – Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie among them. This time, the overseas challengers will include four-time Major-winning South African Ernie “The Big Easy” Els.
WHERE Huntingdale Golf Club, Melbourne
WHEN November 19-22
Featuring bold and brassy cabaret and theatrical shows, stand-up comedy, live music, art exhibitions, dance and even the odd family-friendly event, this popular LGBT festival is now in its 19th year. Austria’s bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst – winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest – and provocative Australian cabaret star Yana Alana are two of the main acts.
WHEN November 14-29
Geoffrey Rush and Neil Armfield have collaborated for more than 30 years, working on plays such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Gogol’s Diary of a Madman. Now they’re teaming up for another Shakespearean tragedy, King Lear, in which the title character loses the plot after denying one of his daughters her inheritance. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well.
WHERE Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, Sydney
WHEN November 24-January 9
QLD, WA, SA
Several of Australia’s recent old guard burnt out in the Ashes but the regeneration of the Test team is in full swing. Steve Smith’s men will be tested by the hard-hitting Brendon McCullum and his Black Caps in this short series but the home side’s pace arsenal should provide the winning edge on the bouncy Gabba and WACA decks.
WHERE Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide
WHEN November 5-9, 13-17 and November 27-December 1
Works by three different choreographers make up 20:21, a dramatic comparison of ballet in the 20th and 21st centuries. Symphony in Three Movements by George Balanchine – one of the most prolific choreographers of the 1900s – will start the show, followed by Filigree and Shadow by The Australian Ballet’s Tim Harbour and In the Upper Room by America’s Twyla Tharp.Culture by numbers
WHERE Sydney Opera House
WHEN November 5-21
Organisers of Tasmania’s Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival want you to see the world differently. To that end, the event kicks off with Frackman – an Australian doco about anti-fracking activist Dayne Pratzky’s battle with the coal-seam gas industry. Also showing is The Wolfpack, about a society-avoiding family locked away in a Manhattan apartment.
WHEN November 4-8
Director Simon Phillips puts a modern twist on Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love – a comic opera in two parts – by setting it in the Australian outback, circa 1915. Soprano Rachelle Durkin plays the role of Adina, a wilful girl with a wicked sense of humour, while tenor Aldo Di Toro is the love-struck labourer, Nemorino.
WHERE Arts Centre Melbourne
WHEN November 21-28
This 11-day film festival returns with more than 75 films from the Asia-Pacific region. Be sure to check out The Assassin – a Taiwanese martial arts romp that was a knockout hit at this year’s Cannes Film Festival – and Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous, directed by Australia’s Christopher Doyle.
WHEN November 19-29
MoVida, Supernormal and Circa, The Prince, are just some of the top Melbourne restaurants taking part in this four-day food frenzy. Each is plating up three to four of its signature dishes in bite-sized portions. Rub shoulders with the city’s most talented chefs, hone your skills at a cooking class or just taste the best food this gastronomically renowned city has to offer.
WHERE Albert Park, Melbourne
WHEN November 27-29
This is the most important equestrian event in the Southern Hemisphere and includes cross-country, dressage and showjumping phases. Some riders and horses may well make it to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Spectators will also be treated to the Polo in the Park trophy match, featuring some of Australia’s finest players.
WHERE Victoria Park, Adelaide
WHEN November 19-22
Imagine walking into some of Fremantle’s most elegant homes, admiring the works of local and interstate artists on the walls and perhaps buying some. That’s what you can do during this three-day festival in which seven grand residences will transform into mini galleries. One is a “styled home”, where everything – including furniture – is for sale.
WHEN November 13-15