There’s nothing quite like Operanation when it comes to the Toronto charity scene.
Established in 2005, Operanation is the Canadian Opera Company’s (COC) premier fundraising event. The annual fundraiser raises over $100,000 a year for the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.
With its fusion of culture, music, fashion and art, all packaged together in a gorgeous glass box of a venue, the Canadian Opera Company’s Operanation is always that night of the fall for Toronto young professionals.
This year’s no exception. The first reason is its unlikely “light up the night” theme (when did you last see a sea of 90s neon at the opera?), which promises to light up every corner of the Four Seasons Centre. Think colour overload with a side of Spanish elements.
Here are five other reasons to hit the 11th annual Operanation: Light up the Night on Thursday, October 16th.
Feel free to indulge this Thanksgiving because you’ll dance it all off come Thursday.
In what is perhaps its most notable signature element, Operanation always features a mash-up performance between contemporary artists and artists from the COC’s Ensemble Studio (past guests have included Nelly Furtado, The Arkells and Broken Social Scene).
This week, French dance-pop band Yelle was confirmed as this year’s special musical guest. In addition to the Ensemble Studio collaboration, they’ll perform selections from their latest album, Complètement fou.
This year’s theme inspired all to design activations of epic proportions.
Case in point: Keith Cole’s Yacht Rawk Flash Mob creates a floating flash mob, moving from floor to floor in the Four Seasons Centre. And yes, guests will be invited to join his choreographed ballet as music by the likes of Melissa Manchester, Carole King and The Doobie Brothers echoes throughout the venue.
Derek Liddington’s activation involves in a recomposed version of Claude Debussy’s “Jeux,” performed by two electric guitars and a male opera singer. The multi-dimensional experience describes the rise and fall of the enduring romantic sun in eight-minute features projected onto large video screens throughout the venue, as well as private screenings in the opera house’s royal box every 30 minutes.
Widely acclaimed artist Orest Tataryn will transform the Four Seasons Centre into a vibrant, neon-filled visual overload. The highly innovative installation will create optical illusions and promises to alter perceptions.
One of the best parts about Operanation is always the fashion, with the themes, the venue, and the magazine-worthy crowd inviting guests to get as shamelessly glam and over-the-top as their hearts desire.
Couple that with the inspiration of the neon 90s, and getting ready for the evening (champagne in hand) gets even more fun this year.
Aside from the fabulous Instagram-worthy outfits of the guests, the COC has partnered with some of Canada’s hottest fashion designers to create a series of slap bracelets (right?!) available through Operanation’s annual raffle.
The food and drink:
Touching on all the senses, Operanation never fails to impress in the food and drink department.
On Wednesday, we got to preview two of the evening’s cocktails in a special pre-drink with David Mitton of The Harbord Room. The Fall Fiesta is made with Lot No. 40 Canadian Rye Whiskey, Pike Creek Canadian Whiskey, cinnamon, clove and aromatic bitter. The decidedly “girlier” tart Seville Sour cocktail is a creation of Pike Creek, Ontario maple syrup and egg white, with red wine floated on top.
The food will be provided by 10tation and will have a Spanish take to it that’s in line with the theme of the event. This means no shortage of far-from-typical passed hors d’oeuvres, a fully stocked paella station, a Spanish cheese and Serrano ham station, and a dessert churro station.
Aside from the visual and audio overload, Operanation is also the breeding ground of some potentially valuable connections.
After all, the venue will be jam-packed (but not in an annoying, drink-spilling way) with some of the city’s most stylish and connected set of young professionals, local celebritie,s and social scene fixtures alike.