Past Events

Over the past five years, Operanation has grown from a small cocktail party to a major fundraiser for the Canadian Opera Company raising over $300,000.

OPERANATI10n: a night of temptation


View photos from this year's sold-out event! 

The Canadian Opera Company’s annual fundraiser and North America’s largest opera party, Operanation, commemorated its milestone 10th anniversary on October 24, 2013. Raising over $130,000 for the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals, the sold-out event was attended by over 1,000 arts patrons, notable VIPs and party-goers. Operanat10n: A Night of Temptation is being heralded as the best Operanation party to-date, with this year’s theme, temptation, translating into elements of music, fashion, artistry and food throughout the expansive Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. “Operanation has become one of Toronto's most highly anticipated parties of the year, as we continue to bring the best artists from Canada’s rock, pop and indie musical genres together with tomorrow’s opera stars,” says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. “In celebrating our 10th Operanation, and with the recent announcement of the inaugural Centre Stage competition gala this November, we’re fostering the future of opera in this country. Through both events we’re able to reach a whole new audience and connect them with the COC as well as the rising opera talent being developed in Canada."


OPERANATION 9: Sweet revenge

On October 18, 2012, Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge raised over $100,000 for the Ensemble Studio, Canada’s foremost training program for young opera professionals.  Award-winning Canadian pop star Nelly Furtado opened the stage with a dazzling performance of her latest single, “Bucket List,” and later the acoustic track “Be OK,” accompanied by Toronto-based singer Dylan Murray, from her latest album Spirit Indestructible.  Furtado was then joined by Ensemble Studio baritone Cameron McPhail for an awe-inspiring and captivating operatic collaboration of “Spanish Silenzio.”  In a final tribute to her fans in the audience, Furtado closed with crowd-favourite, “Maneater.”

Shortly after midnight, Juno 2012 Group of the Year, the Arkells turned the evening’s festivities up a notch with a fusion of rock and operatic influences starting with the aria “No, no, I’ll take no less” from the Handel opera, Semele, featuring COC Ensemble Studio soprano Ambur Braid, and a remix of their single “Kiss Cam” with Braid and fellow Ensemble Studio mezzo-soprano Rihab Chaieb.  Then, in a surprise performance, Jian Ghomeshi, host of CBC’s Q, joined the group on stage for a rock- opera version of the classic track “Psycho Killer.”  


Operanation 8: A Muse Ball

On Friday, Oct. 21, the bar for charity balls was raised at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts as the scene of Operanation 8: A Muse Ball unfolded with more than 1,000 guests. The magical evening raised $100,000 for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.

World-renowned singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, the headline artist of the night, mesmerized guests, opening with a performance of his song, ‘The Art Teacher.” Wainwright playfully interacted with the audience between songs, delighting the throngs of fans with news of his upcoming move to Toronto, before closing out with the rather timely “Going to a Town.”

At midnight, Canadian breakthrough band Austra, along with the COC Ensemble Studio stars soprano Ambur Braid and baritone Adrian Kramer, rocked the house, with a performance that was described as both “being from a different time” and “rad” by onlookers. Joining in on Austra’s memorable singles, “Lose It” and “Beat and the Pulse,” Braid and Kramer offered powerful hits of classical opera sounds to the edgy combination of funky pop-dance-spin Austra is known for. It was all a perfect prelude to what erupted into an end-of-night dance party spurred on by DJ John Kong.

View pictures from this event 

Operanation VII: Cinderella: Rock the Ball

On Friday, Oct. 29, 2010, Operanation VII, Cinderella: Rock the Ball presented by TD Bank Financial Group rocked the Four Seasons Centre, welcoming more than 1,000 guests—140 of whom also attended the event’s sold-out VIP dinner. The evening raised over $100,000 for the Canadian Opera Company’s Education and Outreach programs.

Well-known Canadian band, Broken Social Scene, along with rising young opera stars of the COC Ensemble Studio, Ambur Braid and Wallis Giunta, wowed guests with a rare performance that put an edgy-spin on opera classics—the Queen of the Night aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute and the duet from Léo Delibes’s opera Lakmé—before moving into a set of Broken Social Scene crowd favourites, emphatically enhanced with powerful overlays sung by Braid and Giunta.

The fairy tale evening continued as the clock struck midnight with Canadian rising star and innovative singer Clara Venice, who turned up the heat with a sultry electro-pop-meets-cabaret-influenced set, as she playfully interacted with the crowd during her never-before-seen performance.

There was no shortage of fashion statements at the event either. From new and re-purposed wedding dresses to the latest from the top designers’ fall lookbooks, the crowd was certainly a well-attired one. Canada’s own fashion queen, Fashion Television’s Jeanne Beker, hosted the VIP dinner dressed as Cinderella’s evil stepmother with an elaborate horned headpiece providing a twist on the fairytale villain’s traditional garb.

View pictures from this event.

Operanation VI: Habanera

The Canadian Opera Company turned up the heat at the Four Seasons Centre on Feb. 26, 2010 for Operanation VI. Guests discovered the passion of Carmen, as Habanera captured the essence of the infamous seductress. The night began with a sold-out Spanish – themed VIP Dinner, followed by the main party held over four floors in the Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room. Guests enjoyed live Latin-Inspired entertainment, the highlight of which was mezzo-soprano Lauren Segal joined by DJ Nick Fiorucci and percussion group TorQ. Dancers from City Dance Corps setting fire to the dance floor. The National Theatre of the World improv troupe put a whole new spin on the story of Carmen.

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Operanation V: La Vie Bohème

The fifth instalment of Operanation, the premier event for young professionals, took place on Oct. 24, 2008. Operanation V, La Vie Bohème, presented by TD Canada Trust, attracted 1,000 young executives to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for an incredible party in support of the education and outreach programs of the COC.

View pictures from this event. 

Operanation IV: La Dolce Vita

Toronto’s elite gathered on Friday, Oct. 19, 2007 for a taste of the “Sweet Life” at Operanation IV, La Dolce Vita. The fourth installment of this annual event evoked all that is opera—the cool of Italy and the decadence of the 1960s with the style of the new century.

La Dolce Vita party revelers indulged in the sensuality of Italian style, cuisine and beverages, with a live performance by COC singers. One lucky raffle winner drove home in a brand-new Vespa.

A fashion show was the centre of attention as Versace showcased their exclusive vintage collection and the St. Regis Room, HBC’s high-end boutique, featured the latest in Italian fashion with selections from their Armani and Valentino collection.

View pictures from the event.

Operanation III

On Friday, Oct. 12, 2006 opera lovers, architecture enthusiasts, urbanites, and fashionistas attended the first social event during the inaugural opera season, in Canada’s newest opera house.

The evening featured savoury treats and drinks that highlighted five well-loved operas including Carmen, La Bohème, and Madama Butterfly. Party-goers were also treated to live performances throughout the evening and the fresh sounds of a DJ mixing arias with vinyl beats.

Operanation II

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2006 the Canadian Opera Company hosted Operanation II.  

The party at the industrially chic Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District took guests “backstage at the opera” with an opportunity to have your make-up done at a dressing room station by a COC make-up artist.

The room was decorated with items from past COC productions and mannequins dressed in opera costumes were positioned throughout the room for everyone to get a closer look.

Models from the Ford Modelling Agency wore other costumes and wigs and mingled with guests, getting the party started on the dance floor.

In addition to rubbing shoulders with members of the COC’s Ensemble Studio—the opera stars of tomorrow—guests experienced a special live performance by Michele Bogdanowicz and Peter Barrett. 


If you were looking to be at Toronto’s newest sparkling party, then on March 8, 2005 you were at the first edition of Operanation.

Hosted at the fabulously exclusive Spoke Club, it was a night to network with Toronto’s stunningly urban career crowd.

Nearly 350 of Toronto’s funkiest danced to arias mixed with vinyl beats, while Operanation volunteers and opera stars of tomorrow, COC Ensemble members, swanned around sporting bling especially provided by Birks.