“The goal of Operanation is to showcase the versatility of opera…as a dynamic art form that continuously seeks to evolve both culturally and socially,” says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company (COC). “It shouldn’t just be listened to – it should be experienced.” This mandate clearly sets the stage for A Night of Curiosities, the theme for the COC’s 13th annual mega fundraiser. Held at the Four Seasons Performance center, three stories of the opera house welcomed hundreds of guests for an evening of experimental cuisine, delectable elixirs, and incredible musical performances.
One part performance, one part party, Operanation is renowned for seamlessly combining cross-genre musical acts during a tantalizing evening of revelry. This year, JUNO Award winning artist Kiesza took the stage as the celebrity performer alongside COC’s Ensemble Studio. The live collaboration demonstrated the versatility of opera as the musicians performed a number of pop hits mashed with classical canons. Fortune tellers were on deck offering tarot card and palmistry reading for those curious about their future. Sleekly dressed characters discreetly slithered across the halls, offering partygoers the chance to mix their own dangerous alcoholic elixirs…fitting considering that the event takes cues from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera, The Elixir of Love, the opera’s romantic comedy about a travelling salesman who sells powerful potions disguised as wine. There was certainly an inexplicable air of mystery atomized throughout the evening.
Photos by Nick Lee