Canadian Opera Company
Mackenzie Duncan

Operanation: Queen of the Night announces full event line-up including live band karaoke

TORONTO, ON — On May 19, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts comes alive for the Canadian Opera Company (COC) party of the year, Operanation: Queen of the Night. Headlined by Canadian electronic pop band, Dragonette, the musical fireworks continue late into the night when, for the very first time at Operanation, party-goers are dared to test their own vocal skills at karaoke accompanied by a live band. Other highlights include Chocolates X Brandon Olsen, live art installations by Gillian G, as well as custom designed “Queen of the Night”-themed temporary tattoos and colouring books.

An annual sold-out event full of musical performances and much more, Operanation will also feature rising star soprano Ambur Braid and members of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, who will take the stage for collaborations with Dragonette. This year’s “Queen of the Night” theme takes inspiration from the darkly seductive villainess of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, coming to the COC mainstage in winter 2017.

Operanation attracts an incredible line-up of talent since it provides a rare opportunity to focus on pairing the contemporary with the classical. I’m thrilled to welcome Dragonette to Operanation this year, and am very excited to see what will come from their special collaboration with Ambur and the singers from our Ensemble Studio program,” COC General Director Alexander Neef “In addition to the music, you’ll see a unique blend of artists coming together in all aspects of this year’s Operanation. The ‘Queen of the Night’ theme has inspired special creations from chocolate makers to temporary tattoo designers, and who knows what undiscovered talent will be revealed when it comes to the live karaoke portion of the evening.”


Currently putting the final touches on their fourth studio album, electro-pop group Dragonette will be this year’s contemporary music act, following in the footsteps of past Operanation headliners Yelle, Sam Roberts Band, Nelly Furtado, Rufus Wainwright, Broken Social Scene, Austra, and Arkells. Since releasing Body Parts three years ago, Dragonette has worked with numerous electronic producers and made appearances at international dance music festivals. The group is fronted by singer-songwriter Martina Sorbara, bassist Dan Kurtz, and drummer Joel Stouffer. Following their solo set, Dragonette will share the stage with stunning Canadian soprano Ambur Braid, set to sing the role of Queen of the Night in the COC’s 2017 production of The Magic Flute, for an electrifying collaborative performance accompanied by current members of the Ensemble Studio.

Following the on-stage performances, event-goers can chose to dance the night away to DJ Diego Armand or step into the Four Seasons Centre rehearsal space, open to Operanation revelers for the first time and set up in true dive bar style, for karaoke with Toronto favourite Good Enough Live Karaoke. Hosting the karaoke sessions will be notable Queens Judy Virago, Tynomi Banks and Allysin Chaynes, channeling their inner “Queen of the Night” for Operanation.


The window panels on the University Avenue side of the Four Seasons Centre will be the canvas for Toronto-based artist Gillian G’s latest creation, sponsored by Drake One Fifty. Currently underway, Gillian G’s completion of the art installation culminates with her execution of a live painting at Operanation on May 19.

Toronto Life once again returns to curate the Operanation lounge on the third floor of the Four Seasons Centre, this time with the help of LUMAS Toronto. This year the magazine’s activation takes the shape of a stop-motion photo booth with COC props and an inspired guest take-away.


The COC is teaming up with three Canadian artists on a very special takeaway: ink your skin (temporarily) with a custom creation. Guests will receive a temporary tattoo when they purchase a raffle ticket – $25 each, five for $100, 15 for $250. Guests who purchase tickets at $100 level will receive two tattoos, while purchasing at the $250 level ensures the buyer all three designs. Tattoo artist Curtis Montgomery , multidisciplinary artist Shary Boyle and clothing designer Tanya Taylor have each designed unique “Queen of the Night” inspired tattoos for the evening.

Samara Shuter has created a parting gift for all Operanation guests: a colouring book with pages inspired by the design of the COC’s production of The Magic Flute and specific characters from Mozart’s popular opera, including the famous Queen of the Night, as well as iconic images from the operatic world in general. Small versions (3.75″ x 6”) will be available for all guests, with larger versions (8×10”) given in the VIP gift bags.

Operanation’s VIP gift bags also include a copy of what Vogue magazine described as “an epic novel for the fashion-obsessed”, The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee. This much anticipated second novel, after Chee’s well-received Edinburgh, is of one woman’s rise from pioneer girl to circus rider to courtesan to world-renowned diva in 19th Century Paris.


This year’s VIP Dinner will be hosted by COC soprano and Ensemble Studio graduate Simone Osborne, one of the most exciting emerging voices in opera today. She’s currently captivating audiences in her role as Micaëla in the COC’s production of Bizet’s Carmen. Operanation’s VIP experience is specially catered by 10tation Event Catering , offering passed hors d’oeuvres followed by a three-course plated dinner. Guests will indulge in delicacies such as sea urchin crudo presented in its shell and mini deviled quail eggs with black salt. This culinary decadence is complemented by a selection of intimate performances by the young artists of the COC Ensemble Studio. For additional details, contact Erin Koth at

All funds for the 12th annual event go directly to supporting the COC Ensemble Studio, the nation’s premier training program for Canada’s young opera professionals. Tickets for the party portion of Operanation: Queen of the Night start at $150 per person and are available online at or by calling COC Ticket Services at 416-363-8231.


Presenting Sponsor: TD Bank Group
Entertainment Host: Shangri-La Hotel Toronto
Partnering Sponsor: Burgundy Asset Management
Supporting Sponsor: Globalive
Event Sponsors: BT/A, Cacao Barry, Chair-man Mills, Chocolates X Brandon Olsen, The Knot Group, Nestle Waters, Ryan Emberley, Toronto Life, Trius Wines, 10tation Event Catering, Wellington Printworks


Operanation is the Canadian Opera Company’s premier fundraising event. For arts patrons as well as the opera-curious, 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. Attracting over 1,000 guests, Operanation takes over three floors of the COC’s opera house, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Funds raised for Operanation are directed towards the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. For more information on Operanation, visit .

ABOUT Ensemble Studio

The COC Ensemble Studio, underwritten in part by Peter M. Deeb and The Slaight Family Foundation, is Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals and provides advanced instruction, hands-on experience, and career development opportunities. The Ensemble Studio is also supported by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage, RBC Foundation, Hal Jackman Foundation, and other generous donors. Since the inception of the program in 1980, over 200 young professional Canadian singers, opera coaches, stage directors and conductors have acquired their first major professional operatic experience through the Ensemble Studio.


Based in Toronto, the Canadian Opera Company is the largest producer of opera in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The COC enjoys a loyal audience support-base and one of the highest attendance and subscription rates in North America. Under its 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 Schmitt Architects, the Four Seasons Centre opened in 2006. For more information on the Canadian Opera Company, please visit its award-winning website,

Media Contacts

Alex McGill
The Knot Group
(416) 532 9035

Megan Leahy
The Knot Group
(416) 532 9035