COC Media Releases





Toronto, Oct. 28, 2011 – 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.


The musically-buoyed scene was punctuated by a fashion installation curated by RAC Boutique lining the main floor of the Four Seasons Centre.  Statuesque models on lit platforms donned “muse”-inspired gowns by Canadian designers, Ashley Rowe, Calla, Joeffer Caoc, Arthur Mendonça, the latter three having recently held shows as part of Toronto’s Fashion Week activities.


At the top of the Grand Staircase, guests were treated to “Between Two Pillars,” a conversation-provoking art installation crafted by much-talked about visual artists Nadia Belerique and Jennifer Rose Sciarrino.  From there it was on to sampling the signature drink of the night “The Muse,” taking in the sight of the lingerie-clad models doling samples of the Calvin Klein fragrance Forbidden Euphoria, and a stop at the multi-flavoured popcorn bar – one of the numerous culinary delights by Rose Reisman Catering.


Going up to the third ring of the Four Seasons Centre, it was a toss-up for popularity between the specially-designed rustic chic Balvenie Lounge, where malt specialists were on hand to deliver the ultimate Balvenie scotch tasting experience; the Hello! Canada magazine photo booth; and the chocolate bark and cheese stations.


From the high notes of the Rufus Wainwright and Austra performances to the high heels that sashayed through the Four Seasons Centre, there was no shortage of “muses” at Operanation 8.  Shining among the inspired and inspiring attendees was the host of the evening, CP24’s Melissa Grelo, dressed in a beautiful Greta Constantine gown with jewellery by JdJ.


Beyond Grelo, Wainwright, Austra, Braid and Kramer, the three floors were full of recognizable television, film and music scene faces.  In the actor contingent, there were: Liane Baliban (film and TV); Peter Mooney and Enuka Okuma (Rookie Blue); Luisa D’Oliviera (Cracked), and whole slew of “Bomb Girls” from Global’s new hit TV series, including Brittany Allen, Jodi Balfour, Ali Liebert, Lisa Norton and Anastasia Phillips.  From the music scene, attendees included Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Jimmy Shaw (Metric), as well as Liam O’Neil and Dave Hamelin (The Stills). There were also numerous media personalities including Jonathan Scott (HGTV's Property Brothers), Jian Ghomeshi (CBC), Shinan Govani (National Post), and Sarah May Taylor (Much Music).


“The growth and success of Operanation over the years is a testament to the belief that there is no generic idea of what opera can be,” says COC General Director Alexander Neef. “Operanation is about celebrating opera, the many forms it can take, and all the ways people are inspired by the art form.”  Given the commentary that streamed endlessly on Twitter, guests of Operanation 8 as well as event chair Fayaz Dossa and vice-chairs Amy Burstyn Fritz, director of Knot PR, and Jeffrey Remedios, president of Arts & Crafts, would most certainly agree.


Proving that the night  was indeed an a-“muse”-ing one, guests were inspired to continue the party as they made their way to the official after-party at (yet-to-be-opened) Storys where they partied well into the wee hours.


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


VIP Dinner Sponsor – E-L Financial Inc.


Partnering Sponsor – Dundee Real Estate Asset Management (DREAM)


Official Media Sponsor – CTV, The Globe and Mail


Official Fragrance – Calvin Klein Forbidden Euphoria


Event Supporters – The Balvenie, Best PR Boutique, Chair-man Mills, Hello! Canada, ICON Model Management, Mill St., Quince Flowers, Rose Reisman Catering, Torrié Coffee, Trius, Wellington Print Works Inc.


About the Canadian Opera Company

Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the five largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. The COC celebrates its 62nd anniversary with the 2011/2012 season that was officially opened at the end of September. Under its new 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 at





For more information about Operanation or to request event photos, please contact:



Candice Best | Best PR Boutique |  | 416.525.1332


Jennifer Pugsley | COC Media Relations Manager | | 416-306-2303


Posted by Public Relations / in Press Release / comments (0) / permalink

COC Blogs
Read the latest news about the COC.
Follow Us
The COC is on Twitter!
COC In The News
Read interesting articles and news from other publications about the COC