Rated as a must-attend event, the highly-anticipated, Canadian Opera Company’s 9th annual sold-out fundraiser, Operanation, lived up to the hype and then some. This year’s theme was “Sweet Revenge”, based on the operetta, Die Flaudermaus, by Johann Strauss.  The evening featured star-studded personalities including musicians, Nelly Furtado and The Arkells, each with their own unique collaborations with the COC’s Ensemble Studio.

The extravagant night started with dinner for VIP guests only, then at 9pm the rest of the guests pulled out their coveted tickets for this high-profile evening at the one-and-only multi-level Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Rose Reisman Catering served pulled pork, black truffled mac and cheese.  There was also a mini grilled cheese bar and an impressive mini apple bar.  The mini apple bar was our favourite, sweet delicacy of the night with a real tree branch protruding into a miniature apple dipped in white chocolate with sprinkles. What a refreshing take on the candy apple!

At the Mini Apple Bar: Baby Fall Apples dipped in White Chocolate with Sprinkles or Caramel Sauce with Skor Pieces

Prior to the night, it was pretty amazing to have our first celebrity, Nelly Furtado, with almost 3 million followers follow @bestoftorontoTV on Twitter! What an honour!  Nelly Furtado did a short set including a spanish song with the COC’s ensemble studio baritone member, Cameron McPhail, and then ending it with Maneater.

Nelly Furtado performing at Operanation: Sweet Revenge

Later into the night, a talented soprano, Ambur Braid, did an interesting opera-rock fusion set with the Arkells band showcasing her impressive high-pitched range one-minute and then rocking out in her glittering dress the next minute.

COC’s soprano, Ambur Braid, performing a mash-up with The Arkells

Since everyone knew that the Arkells would be one of the headliners, we were wondering to ourselves if Jian Ghomeshi would be performing at Operanation just like at his own recent 1982 book launch party at the Opera House. Nevertheless, it was still very refreshing and surprising to see him jump onto stage and rock the house once again with the Arkells and the COC’s Ensemble Studio.  Great vibes all around!

It was great to see our new Ryerson fashion designer friend, Jill Dickieson (see our interview here) at the unveiling of her dress inspired by Adele from Die Flaudermaus.  I also met up with another Ryerson designer, Sarah Elizabeth Graham, with whom we had a hilarious time along with her mom.  We had too much fun!

Enjoying Sweet Revenge macarons

Members of the Ensemble Studio: soprano Tamara Wilson, baritone Cameron McPhail, soprano Ambur Braid, mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb

Enjoying the Sweet Revenge macaron tower by Nadege Patisserie

Here are some notable tweets including our own, which the Canadian Opera Company retweeted as well.  Thanks for that!

Watch Citytv’s interview with Nelly Furtado before Operanation


Established in 2005, Operanation is the Canadian Opera Company’s premier fundraising event. For arts patrons as well as the opera-curious, Operanation presents a unique experience, equal parts party and performance, with special collaborations between classic and modern music and complementary art forms ranging from visual arts to fashion. Attracting over 1,000 guests, Operanation takes over three floors of the COC’s opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Funds raised for Operanation are directed towards the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. For more information on Operanation, please visit www.operanation.ca


Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its leadership team of General Director Alexander Neef and Music Director Johannes Debus, the COC is increasingly capturing the opera world’s attention. The COC maintains its international reputation for artistic excellence and creative innovation by creating new productions within its diverse repertoire, collaborating with leading opera companies and festivals, and attracting the world’s foremost Canadian and international artists. The COC performs in its own opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, hailed internationally as one of the finest in the world. Designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006, and is also the performance venue for The National Ballet of Canada. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website, coc.ca.

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Editor and Photos at BestOfToronto.net