Glitz, opera, and plenty of bubbly: Rufus Wainwright hypes us for this year’s Operanation fundraising bash
For opera fans and party lovers alike, the Canadian Opera Company’s annual fundraising gala, Operanation, is one of the hottest tickets of the year. Taking place in the crystalline Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, the event is an innovative mix of opera, rock, dance, and, of course, plenty of bubbly that not only delights the crowd but also raises a pretty penny for the company (last year’s gala raised more than $100,000). This year, the COC has sweetened the pot by adding Rufus Wainwright and Montreal-based dance-pop band Austra to the lineup of Operanation 8: A Muse Ball.
Affectionately (and correctly!) referred to by Elton John as “the greatest songwriter on the planet,” Wainwright is opera’s latest protégée (and by protégée, we mean living composer) after creating the wildly successful opera Prima Donna, which made its North American premiere at last summer’s Luminato. We’re pretty obsessed with Wainwright over here at FASHION, and when we heard he was involved, we jumped at the chance to chat with him about his involvement with this year’s gala. “I’m very good friends with [COC General Director] Alexander Neef, and we’re thinking of doing a big [show] in the future,” he said. “I really think that’s he’s one of the powerhouses of opera for young people in the world. I really want to help him out and it is such a great company and a beautiful theatre, so I know who to court as a young budding composer. [laughs]” The singer phoned us while awaiting Hurricane Irene by the ocean in the Hamptons (naturally), and he regaled us with a doom-and-gloom version of “Bye Bye Birdie,” before tipping us off to what his performance might be. “It won’t be a formal concert, but it is, nonetheless. It’s the right direction the opera company has to go in, to make it interesting for a new audience.” Consider us won over.
Tickets to this year’s Operanation 8: A Muse Ball are $150 each and are on sale now at coc.ca or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416.363.8231. If you’re feeling swank, you can purchase tickets to the VIP dinner for $500. Get moving, though—tickets are already 90 per cent sold out since their release last week.
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