M a r c X D i a m o n d
May 24, 1944 - November 17, 2005
Teacher, theatre director, playwright, novelist, opera librettist, Marc Diamond died suddenly at his home in Vancouver, aged 61. Born in Hornell, New York, he came to Canada with his family in 1954. His father, Dr. Ralph Diamond, his mother Mary (nee Leff) and brother Michael, are now deceased. He received his doctorate in Drama from the University of Toronto in 1979, and came to BC in 1980, where for 25 years he taught in the theatre area of the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.
He is survived by his beloved partner and colleague of 27 years, Penelope Stella, with whom he taught in the School, and by his countless students and friends for whom he was a constant support and inspiration. An open, generous and encouraging mentor, patient and demanding by turns, with a subversive sense of humour, Marc Diamond has, along with his partner, had a transformative effect on the development of theatre in Canada. The hundreds of students who have gone on to act, direct, write and develop new companies form his enduring legacy.
Marc Diamond was enthusiastically committed to the idea of interdisciplinary and collaborative projects, and regularly formed substantial creative alliances with musicians, composers, dancers, artists and film-makers. His remarkable sensitivity to the nuances of disparate art forms became an endless, surprising pleasure for the creative artists with whom he worked. From librettos for contemporary opera and musical theatre, through experimental novels, to classical Greek dramas re-cast as contemporary political theatre, he brought to life his heartfelt commitment to the progressive possibilities of these art forms. The inquisitive and judicious audiophile, the uncannily discerning listener – these animated his enduring love of music, especially jazz. Wide-ranging visits to the galleries of New York, his favorite city, fed a remarkable aesthetic sensitivity. The range of interests and curiosities pursued throughout his life were returned to the arts – his driving pleasure.
Once a competitive swimmer, over the last several years Marc Diamond became an accomplished sea-kayaker. On vacation at his favorite place on the big island of Hawaii he could be seen at dawn, setting out alone into the Pacific.
Thus will we remember him. The magnitude of his loss will be hard to calculate; the math has not yet been invented.
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