Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2014 Edition

On October 16, the Canadian Opera Company hosted its annual fundraiser, Operanation, at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Operanation: Light Up The Night was a spectacular evening of music, food and fashion in support of the opera company’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals.

Co-chaired by Randi Bergman of Fashion MagazineAnne Maggisano of Burgundy Asset Management and Patrick Sambrook of Eggplant Entertainment, this year’s event had a modern Spanish flair, inspired by the COC’s production of The Barber of Seville. The highlight of the night was a much anticipated performance by the French band Yelle.

Guests went ultra glam for the occasion. Nelia Belkova looked red carpet-worthy in emerald green H&M, Gracie Carroll repped Canadian fashion fabulously in Greta Constantine, and Amy Burstyn-Fritz stunned in a standout orange gown. Check out the gallery below for style snaps from Operanation: Light Up The Night.

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Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2013 Edition

Co-chair Amy Burstyn-Fritz

On October 24, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 10: A Night of Temptation, the 2013 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts opened its doors for one of our favourite events on Toronto’s social calendar, which this year featured a VIP dinner and incredible performances by the Sam Roberts Band and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid. And did we mention the gourmet macaroni and cheese station? It was the stuff of dreams.

As was the fashion, actually. When we weren’t mugging for the photo booth camera (or munching on the aforementioned mac and cheese), we were busy being in awe of the guests’ chic gala style. Amy Burstyn-Fritz showed up for her Operanation co-chair duties in an ethereal custom dress by New York-based designer Kaelen, while songstress Ambur Braid chose a stunning emerald J. Mendel gown for her on-stage performance.

Other memorable sartorial moments included Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Alexander McQueen jewelled skull clutch and matching earrings, Verity Megan Curtis‘ gorgeous fascinator and jumpsuit ensemble, and Stacey McKenzie‘s left leg peeking out of a standout Greta Constantine draped jersey number à la Angelina Jolie circa Oscars 2012.

It was an ultra-glamourous night befitting of Operanation’s 10th anniversary, and one that we imagine will be very tough for the COC to top next year.

Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers

Stacey McKenzie

Caitlin Agnew and Anita Clarke

Barbara Ann Solomon

Christine Tizzard and Tracy Briggs

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Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2012 Edition

On October 18, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge, the 2012 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. Operanation 8 was a fabulous fusion of music and fashion, and this year’s event was no less so. Toronto’s social set flocked to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for an evening featuring performances by none other than Canadian songbird Nelly Furtado and the 2012 Juno winner for Group of the Year the Arkells.

Vibrant prints weren’t on the dress code, but it sure looked as though it was: Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn-Fritz donned a beautiful Erdem gown, FASHION Magazine‘s Paige Dzenis chose an eye-catching abstract-print frock for the occasion, and Monica Mei sported a gorgeous floral-print and sheer number of her own design. Black and white was a favourite among the chic guests as well, with Rac Boutique’s Faith Orfus balancing an uncharacteristically girly lace dress with Balenciaga boots, jewelry designer Jenny Bird stepping out in a frilly lace top and suspendered pants, and actress Gabrielle Miller looking downright stunning in a design by Lucian Matis.

Operanation 9 was both a feast for the eyes and the ears. How will the COC top it next year? I can’t wait to find out.

Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn-Fritz and Rac Boutique’s Faith Orfus

AIME designer Monica Mei

Jewelry designer Jenny Bird and guest

FASHION Magazine’s Paige Dzenis

Actress Gabrielle Miller

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Street Style

Stylin’ from the Backseat: Shameless

Yesterday I posted style snaps from this year’s Operanation 8: A Muse Ball, and guess what? I wore clothes to the Ball too. More specifically, I donned my favourite David Dixon dress. The last time I took my sample sale find out for a spin was to Prom at the ROM earlier this year, when the “Into the Wild” theme of the event called for an animalistic approach to styling. This time, though, I needed an ensemble that would take me from the last day of shows at LG Fashion Week straight to Operanation.

Dressing for two events is always tricky; inevitably I find myself overdressed for one shindig and under-dressed for the other. On this particular day, I seemed to have pulled it off. In fact, Sabrina declared, “If I had a street style blog, I’d be all over you,” or something of that sort. A ringing endorsement, indeed! But since she doesn’t have one, and I happen to, I did the job myself. Ever the shameless style blogger.

Sonia by Sonia Rykiel jacket / David Dixon dress / Chanel bag / Giuseppe Zanotti shoes / Biko Jewellery necklace / MAKE UP FOR EVER make-up

xx, S

Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2011 Edition

Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn Fritz in a Calla Haynes skirt

On October 21, T and I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Opera Company‘s eighth annual fundraiser, Operanation 8: A Muse Ball in Toronto. Despite having given opera a few sadly unsuccessful tries in the past (in hindsight, War and Peace in Russian wasn’t a very good starter opera), T was excited about the opportunity to see headliner Rufus Wainwright perform live and I was lured in by the promise of a fashion installation curated by RAC Boutique owners Glenna Weddle and Faith Orfus. Neither disappointed.

Featuring incredible, muse-inspired looks by Canadian designers Calla HaynesJoeffer CaocArthur Mendonça and Ashley Rowe, RAC’s installation was rivalled only by the partygoers’ own stunning ensembles. From lady in red Amy Burstyn-Fritz to a Mary Katrantzou-clad Megan Loach, the Operanation crowd was as well-styled and sartorially inspiring as the installation itself. In between style snaps, T and I also managed to eat, drink and dance the night away. In fact, we had so much fun that we vowed to give opera another proper try…or at least to attend Operanation again next year!

Designer Arthur Mendonça with a model in his design

RAC Boutique’s Faith Orfus

I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke in a breathtaking Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shawl

Red lips and white sequins

The Room at the Bay’s Megan Loach in Mary Katrantzou Spring 2011

xx, S


Operanation 8 to Celebrate The Muse with Custom Canadian Fashion Designs

On October 21, 2011, the Canadian Opera Company will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Operanation 8: A Muse Ball, and this year’s party promises a fashionable twist! Canadian fashion designers Calla HaynesJoeffer CaocKirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong for Greta ConstantineArthur Mendonça and Ashley Rowe have been commissioned by the COC to create designs inspired by their own personal muses.

The custom-made pieces will be featured in a fashion installation curated by RAC Boutique, which sits alongside a headlining performance by Rufus Wainwright, a visual art installation by Nadia Belerique and Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, and a performance by Austra on the evening’s programme.

Tickets to Operanation 8 are available at, and all proceeds go to the COC’s Ensemble Studio, Canada’s premier training program for young opera professionals. T and I are already planning our very best opera outfits. See you there?

xx, S

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