After a tasting of rakia and some gourmet Eastern European grub at Rakia Bar last Thursday (vlog coming soon folk), I headed over to Operanation: Sweet Revenge with my Polish Princesses. For those who might be, shall we simply say, unaware of the importance of an event like Operanation, the facts read as such: It’s one of the primary fundraisers for the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals; above and beyond its charitable mandate, it’s the height of event season in Toronto, bringing a consortium of tastemakers, movers and shakers, professionals and philanthropists young and old together at the minimal yet intricate Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for an evening of luxe fare.
This year’s event saw Canadian songstress Nelly Furtado and The Arkells performing alongside members of the Ensemble Studio. Full disclosure: I was up close the first song or two of Ms. Nelly, but had wandered off in search of the aforementioned double P’s when suddenly this massive voice started belting alongside the Maneater. I didn’t catch his name. Didn’t catch his visage. But the tonality and emotive qualities of such a strong tenor managed to halt conversations and shake the wraparound expanse, rendering most in awe. And this, dear sirs and madams, is what happens when young talent is fostered and nurtured at an institution like the COC. (And why you should look into supporting it.)
The rest of the evening was par for the course so far as events go. Precious bites of food passed around by always-smiling servers; open bars quenching the thirst of some-too-open mouths; cute candy apples with twig handles (really want to know where they got those) being delicately noshed by fashionistas in couture cocktail dresses; a shirtless Calvin Klein underwear model; energetic music blaring and echoing…
Another event. Another cause. Another sophisticated evening. But Operanation’s reach extends past the 18th of October… into the future of Canadian arts.