Toronto, November 4, 2010 � On Friday, October 29, a new standard for charity balls was set at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts as the scene of Operanation VII, Cinderella: Rock the Ball unfolded with 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.
With an impressive Cinderella-worthy carriage punctuating the promenade outside the Four Seasons Centre, guests arriving for the 9 p.m. exclusive cocktail reception, may have been tempted to think about whisking away before even entering. But, once inside and greeted by trumpeters to a magical setting, there was no thought of leaving before the stroke of midnight at this ball.
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.
Keeping the fairy tale evening going was Canadian rising star and innovative singer Clara Venice, who took the stage at midnight wearing her second of three rocker-glam ensembles of the night, all provided for her from the Kingdom collection of Canadian fashion designer Evan Biddell, Project Runway Canada's first winner.
Venice 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. Highlights included a lit parasol entry, a theremin - a first time exposure to the instrument for many - and provocative Lady Gaga-esque moves.
�One of the goals of Operanation is to make opera attractive, appealing and accessible to Toronto's up-and-coming arts crowd, and we certainly accomplished that with this, our seventh iteration of the event,� says Fayaz Dossa, COC Board Member and Operanation VII Co-Chair, along with Claire Kennedy. He adds, �It was thrilling to see such an impressive show of support for the Canadian Opera Company and the arts scene.�
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.
You only had to check the Twitter postings (@Operanation) as buzzing proof that everything from performers in drag as the �ugly stepsisters�, to the Diego Bros. spinning can't-stop-the-dancing tunes, to �The Glass Slipper� signature cocktail kept spirits high. Culinary highlights by Rose Reisman Catering -- cupcake ball gowns and carving stations with beef hips, to name a few -- added to the all-round success, amplified by successful live and silent auctions.
Beyond Broken Social Scene and the COC opera singers, a long line of recognizable television, film, fashion and music scene faces were among party guests, including: Lindsey Ames (The Vow); Glen Baxter (Fashion Television); designers Evan Biddell and Marika Brose; Natalie Brown (CBC, Sophie); Jian Ghomeshi (CBC, Q); Daniel Johnson (Stereos); Athena Karkanis (The Border); David Paetkau (Flashpoint); Tara Spencer-Nairn (Corner Gas); Aliya-Jasmine Sovani (MTV); and many members of the Rookie Blue cast.
Proving that the fairy tale continues long after midnight, guests made their way to an after-party at the Thompson Hotel rooftop terrace where they partied the way Cinderella may have had she not had a curfew; that is, well into the wee hours.
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