A night of fashion curiosities

This year’s Operanation will be an evening full of curiosities – and, of course, a night where party goers will be surrounded by both opera as well as fashion aficionados. Yes, many like to compare this event to the Met Gala. There is no doubt, that when it comes to the arts and fashion, the sky is the limit when it comes to creativity.

Fashion editor for the Globe and Mail, Odessa Paloma Parker, is on the committee and has been an avid supporter and party goer herself for many years. “Operanation is a chance for people who are passionate about the arts and creativity to come together for a good cause. Fashion is an extremely creative field, and there are perfectly complementary aspects in opera – the grandiose story lines, the attention to detail, the divas! You can’t find an art form more chic”.

A former vocal student herself, Parker studied at the Royal Conservatory for several years and at one point wanted to pursue a career as an opera singer. With both music and style running through her veins, I had to pin her down and ask about what she hopes to see for this year and more.

We have so many local designers to choose from when it comes to evening wear. What would you recommend?

It would be amazing to see someone wearing something custom by Matthew Gallagher, perhaps with some vibe-y crystal details – he makes such opulent pieces that are perfect for events like Operanation. Greta Constantine is always a must for occasion dressing, and I would love to see someone wearing one of their colourful sheer looks from the spring 2017 collection. And Sid Neigum made a stunning bronze draped dress for his fall line that would be a very dynamic choice.

What about your past looks?

I really loved wearing a lace gown by Unttld last year, as well as a tie-dye vintage dress with velvet bolero jacket a few years ago. A friend described me as the “female Jimi Hendrix”.

What would be the perfect ensemble for you?

Well, there are some exceptionally witchy pieces in the spring collection from Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. I think, given the esoteric theme for this year’s event, something very mystical would be appropriate. I would top the look off with some incredible jewellery by Alan Anderson and a pair of custom silver boots by Modern Vice.
And, of course, I must ask another very important question – do you have a favourite opera?

It’s a toss up between Tosca and The Marriage of Figaro.

Tickets can be purchase online or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231. 

Anna Netrebko visits Toronto

The magnificently gorgeous and talented soprano, Anna Netrebko, made her Canadian debut earlier this week at the Four Season Centre for the Performing Arts. Along with her husband, tenor Yusif Eyvazov, and Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky.  The Trio Magnifico performed for, of course, a very enthusiastic audience singing operatic works including Verdi’s Rigoletto and Dvorak’s Rusalka.

Netrebko also took some time to tour around our lovely city and I must say, she definitely left her mark. We hope to see her again soon. Until then, we’ll reminisce over her lovely Instagram photos.


*Performance photo by Vladimir Kevorkov

A Night of Fashionable Curiosities

I like to think that there is an opera lover in all of us. Not everyone can handle the intensity of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, let’s say, but a little buffa can definitely tickle everyone’s fancy. Now imagine three floors full of luminaries and cultural trendsetters from the worlds of fashion, business, television, and music all to support Toronto’s next generation of opera artists.

As one of the top spring social events of the season, The Canadian Opera Company will, once again, bring Operanation to life on May 25th. A party not to be missed, this year’s theme will bring forth an evening of enticing elixirs, culinary experiments, and musical hybrids.

On top of the amazing performances in store, here’s another important question – what do you wear? Couturier Rosemarie Umetsu is not only a designer to some of the world’s top classical artists but she is a continuous supporter of the COC. “Operanation is a great example of a gala that has incorporated popular culture, attracting a new demographic interested in this art form as well as the opera company’s prestigious ensemble program”.

Having dressed and designed for past participating performers and attendees, Umetsu says, “this is the kind of evening where you want to be theatrical and visually spectacular. I’ve also been commissioned to create pieces for non-artist guests. In these instances, it’s been great fun designing something within the scope of the theme of the specific Operanation. These pieces have always been fun and red carpet worthy”.

Operanation 2010
[From the left, COC artists including Wallis Giunta and Lauren Segal, to the right Rosemarie and Wayne Umetsu]

What would the designer like to see for this year? “A Night of Curiosities leaves a wide scope of imaginative and very individual interpretations. I expect to be surprised”.

Tickets available at coc.ca

Operanation

Are you ready? The Canadian Opera Company’s premier fundraising event, Operanation, is back for its 13th year.  For arts patrons as well as the operacurious, Operanation presents a unique experience, equal parts party and performance, with special collaborations between classic and modern music and complementary art forms ranging from visual arts to fashion.

“The goal of Operanation is to showcase the versatility of opera,” says Alexander Neef, General Director of the Canadian Opera Company. “It is an incredibly dynamic art form that is continuously evolving both culturally and socially. It shouldn’t just be listened to – it should be experienced.”

Funds raised for Operanation are directed towards the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. Among the special guest artists who have performed at Operanation are Dragonette, Sam Roberts Band, Rufus Wainwright, Nelly Furtado, Austra, Broken Social Scene and the Arkells. This year, JUNO Award winning artist Kiesza is set to take the stage as the celebrity performer.

This year’s theme is “A Night of Curiosities,” drawing inspiration from Gaetano Donizetti’s opera, The Elixir of Love, where a mysterious traveling salesman disguises wine as powerful potions and enticing elixirs and will take place on May 25th.

Operanations Past

 

Inaugural Evening at the Atelier

Rosemarie Umetsu has not only been a supporter of the arts through her fashion collaborations but has also loved to entertain enthusiasts housing countless performances at her beloved atelier. Having recently moved locations, the couturier has officially embarked on a new chapter in her fascinating career.

“We have now created a Fashion House taking the Atelier to a higher level of fashion experience with clients and where I can use this space to further augment my design culture”. As she is presently in JUNO mode designing for up to 5 nominees this year and with names like Isabel Bayrakdarian, Measha Brueggergosman, Yuja Wang and many more under her client roster, there was an urge to dive even deeper into developing Umetsu’s fashion expression.

In addition, Yamaha Canada Music has also come on board as a top level sponsor where the atelier is now in a position to continue in an expansive way of what was done in the past. The space can now enhance the goal even further to support arts groups and helping nurture developing artists, as well as assist the established.

Tomorrow evening, the Yamaha Recital Space will present its inaugural recital featuring Korean-Canadian pianist Younggun Kim as well as debut the new Yamaha CX piano. With bookings already going into 2018, I think it’s safe to say that everyone is excited to embrace this new urban event space and its great acoustics.