Now, on the whole, having a birthday in November is a largely undesirable situation. I understand, of course, that it's not as bad as being born just before Christmas and thereby receiving only one set of presents as well as having to compete with celebrations for somebody else's birth, but nevertheless it really does mean a pile up of festivities at one end of the year and then very little else for 11 months - woe betide the November baby who runs out of Jo Malone mid-March, for example *voice of experience*.
Still, this November I shall be celebrating my birth in style by going to not one but THREE new productions at The Lowry Theatre by the wonderful Opera North; it's as if they knew that I would never be able to choose just one to go and see, and have handily arranged matters so that I may justify the whole rip-roaring, roof-raising lot of them. First up is Faust, with performances on Tuesday 6th and Friday 9th November; this got a pretty good write-up in The Sunday Times last week, with the observation that "Opera North bring Gounod's cheesy fable forcefully and cleverly up to date". Anyone who has seen an Opera North performance before (particularly the trailer-trash version of Carmen that visited Manchester last year) will know that this kind of modern approach is one of their strengths, even if they do manage to upset the odd traditionalist from time to time, so this bodes well indeed.
Alongside Faust, Opera North are also bringing Mozart's Don Giovanni (on Wednesday 7th and Saturday 10th November) and a Janáček opera that I am not familiar with called The Makropulos Case on Thursday 8th. Both of these deal with love, the former telling the story of an inveterate pleasure-seeker (based, of course, on Don Juan) as he cuts a seductive swathe through the hearts of all he lays eyes (and more) upon, and the latter posing a more romantic conundrum by asking us whether we would wish for immortality even if our endless life was one without love (answer: maybe, possibly - not sure; would depend on supply of chocolate digestives and American TV box sets).
Anyway, full details can be found here on the Lowry website, and I will leave you with some tempting images from Don Giovanni. Remember though, you might wangle permission to see one or all of these, but you ONLY get ice-cream at each and every interval IF it is Birthday Month...