TORONTO Death and regeneration were the themes of the 2005 Opera ball, sponsored by the Canadian Opera Volunteer Committee (COVC) in partnership with the Canadian Opera Company (COC). The COC often uses its fund-raisers to promote upcoming productions, and in September 2006, it will debut G?tterd?mmerung—also known as Twilight of the Gods—Richard Wagner's epic tale of loss and redemption. But Merle Gobin, president of the COVC, said the themes were selected for another reason as well: to call attention to the COC's scheduled move next summer to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, after 45 years at the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts. “We are celebrating our glorious past and welcoming the grand future of opera in Toronto,” Gobin said.
The COVC planned the annual benefit with help from COC manager of special events Tamara Kolber. Endeavour supplied accordion-fold invitations with an image of fire on the front and that of a fresh green leaf on the back. Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman performed while guests were led to their tables by COVC members. Around the room, bouquets of wildflowers were strategically placed in front of curtains, uplit in fiery reds, oranges, and yellows. Centrepieces with glowing votive candles were hung from branches with budding leaves, and off-white table linens with green leaf appliqu?s contrasted with burgundy chair covers. The Fairmont Royal York hotel catering team served a jumbo shrimp and smoked trout rillette appetizer, followed by a spring pea puree with white autumn truffle cream. The rest of the meal included filet mignon, lobster mushroom potato souffl?, and artichoke ragout, followed by caramel pralines with Tia Maria and poached pears with fig ice cream.
After dinner, guests took part in a silent auction and danced to the sounds of the Starz Band.