COC Media Releases


Rufus Wainwright, "Greatest songwriter on the planet," to headline COC's Operanation 8

TorontoThe Canadian Opera Company’s annual fundraising bash returns this year on Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, with Operanation 8: A Muse Ball, featuring internationally-renowned singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright.  Affectionately referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet” and praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation; his own singular sound transcending the worlds of rock, opera, theatre, dance and film. Rufus Wainwright will headline the music line-up for Operanation 8, the must-attend arts fundraiser of the fall social season, which will also showcase performances by other artists to be announced at a later date. 

Operanation 8: A Muse Ball will be a celebration of artistic inspiration and the mix-and-mingle of art and life, taking place in the ideal setting of the crystalline Isadore and Rosalie Sharp City Room at the COC’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  The magical night of dancing, live entertainment and specialty food and drink will represent the ultimate source of inspiration, the muse, calling to mind muses from the worlds of music, art and fashion.

Operanation 8: A Muse Ball will begin at 9 p.m. on Oct. 21, 2011. Tickets are $150 per person.

An exclusive pre-party VIP dinner takes place before the gala in the Four Seasons Centre’s spectacular Henry N. R. Jackman Lounge.  The intimate dinner will feature a lavish meal and an inspirational private performance by members of the COC’s Ensemble Studio.  Tickets are $500 (includes gala following dinner).

Tickets for the gala portion of Operanation 8 are available as of Sept. 1, 2011, online at or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231.  VIP dinner tickets may be purchased by calling 416-306-2309.  All proceeds will benefit the COC Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.

Since its launch in 2005, the COC’s Operanation event has become the hottest fundraiser of the year, bringing together thousands of young urban professionals from diverse career, social and business circles who share a passion for the arts.  Last year’s Operanation, Cinderella: Rock the Ball, raised more than $100,000 for the COC and over 1,000 guests were wowed by performances by indie Canadian rockers Broken Social Scene, a rock/opera mash-up between Broken Social Scene and COC Ensemble Studio members Ambur Braid and Wallis Giunta, and a special appearance by innovative Canadian singer Clara Venice with a sultry electro-pop-meets-cabaret-influenced set.

Press releases with more information on Operanation 8: A Muse Ball will be issued at a later date.

Presenting Sponsor for Operanation 8: A Muse Ball: TD Bank Group

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For more information or to request photographs of previous Operanation galas, please contact:

Jennifer Pugsley, Media Relations Manager, tel: 416-306-2303, e-mail:

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COC Closes Landmark Fifth Season at Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

Toronto  The Canadian Opera Company has completed yet another successful performance year as it closes the 2010/2011 season, an occasion that also commemorates the fifth anniversary of Canada’s first purpose-built opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  Since the opening of the 

Four Seasons Centre in June 2006, the COC has become one of the five largest producers of opera in 
North America.

In the last five years, the COC has presented three world premieres, (Swoon, 2006; Isis and the Seven Scorpions, 2006; The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, 2009), three Canadian premieres (Ring Cycle, 2006; War and Peace, 2008; Maria Stuarda, 2010) and five COC premieres (From the House of the Dead, 2008; Rusalka, 2009; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2009; Nixon in China, 2011; Orfeo ed Euridice, 2011), as well as added 15 new productions to its repertoire (Das Rheingold, 2006; Swoon, 2006; Isis and the Seven Scorpions 2006; Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, 2007; Don Carlos, 2007; Tosca, 2008; From the House of the Dead, 2008; War and Peace, 2008; Fidelio, 2009; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2009; The Nightingale and Other Short Fables, 2009; Otello, 2010; Idomeneo, 2010; Aida, 2010; The Magic Flute, 2011).  Over the same period of time, 214 Canadian and international artists (singers, dancers, designers, directors, conductors, choreographers) have made their debuts with the COC.


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2010/2011 Season Facts-at-a-Glance

129,450: patrons attended the COC’s seven mainstage productions in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

12,271: people under the age of 30 attended the COC’s mainstage productions in the Four Seasons Centre.

3,936: kilometres estimated travelled by the COC’s Xstrata Ensemble Studio School in order to present its touring productions of Isis and the Seven Scorpions and Cinderella for school children across Ontario.

3,888: votes cast at for the 60 entries in the COC’s Cinderella Outfit Challenge.

549: people took part in tours of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts and/or the Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, the COC’s administrative and rehearsal building.

400: school children and community members in Salluit and Kangiqsujuaq saw the COC’s Xstrata Ensemble Studio School Tour production of Cinderella as part of a specially arranged trip to these Inuit communities in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. 

154: PV solar panels make up the new solar panel roof installed at the COC scene shop in fall 2010.

79: free events as part of the COC’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre attended by an estimated 15,000 people.

63: Canadian and international artists (singers, dancers, directors, conductors, choreographers, designers) made their debuts in a COC production.

12: dollars is how little it costs to attend a mainstage performance of the COC with the introduction of standing room tickets in the 10/11 season.

11: Dora Mavor Moore nominations for COC productions in the 10/11 season.

7: honeybee hives were installed in May 2011 on the roof of the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.  The COC previously only had two bee hives on the Four Seasons Centre roof.

4: near-capacity performances of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables at the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in March 2011.

3: annual fundraising events held by the COC netted $360,000 thanks to the generosity of its loyal donors and supporters: $110,000 from Operanation 7; $110,000 from the 12th annual Fine Wine Auction and $140,000 through the COC’s 17th annual golf tournament, the KPMG Opera Golf Classic.

2: new productions were added to the COC’s repertoire: Aida and The Magic Flute

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