It is with great sadness to announce the passing of fellow thespian, Luc Andre Joseph Corbeil.
Luc fought hard against the kidney cancer that not only took his father’s life previously, but his own as well on March 29th, 2023. Predeceased by his parents Raoul Corbeil and Gertrude Clément. Survived by his brothers Marc (Charlotte) and Pierre (Nathalie) and his nieces Maripier, Sophie and nephew Hugo.
Luc was known to many of us within a variety of capacities, whether it be a fellow festie, a fork lift driver, a gamer, a teacher, a grumpy man with a sly smile behind that beard or a friend.
Even though he wasn’t on faculty, I learned as much from him as I did from anyone else during my years there. I first met him in the fall of 2012 and his smile remained tumescent as he simply replied “you’ve been voluntold”. That was how my relationship with Luc started and he became a fixture of my time at UBC Opera. His very ‘hands on’ approach to problem solving was a great model for us to follow and his consistently practical attitude of ‘make the thing work first, then worry about making it perfect later’ is a principle I still follow to this day. As a matter of fact, this evening before I sat down to write this, I was performing in an indie-opera production for which I was also technical director. Something I never could’ve done without the skills I learned from Luc. I even told one of my volunteer helpers: “As my old boss used to say, good enough is good enough. That’s why they call it that.”
I should stress that it wasn’t just me who loved working with Luc. We all did. When he left UBC I personally got him a flask engraved with the quote “I drink to make other people tolerable”. He responded by making one of his pipes for each of us. We also compiled a list of his many sayings under the title of ‘Luc-isms’ and taped them to the old toolbox behind the stage. As far as I know, the quotes are still there.
As the sad news of his passing has filtered down the grape vine I’ve been able to reconnect with several of my old UBC chums who knew him or worked with him. It’s been a great reminder of how well loved he was by all of the students there. Even those who weren’t involved with the technical side. It seems a bit of an irony that even though he had no love for Opera and nothing nice to say about singers in general, in his own way, he influenced a generation of Opera professionals in Canada.
He genuinely was a very important part of my life for a number of years and taught me a great many skills and practical lessons. It seems almost trite to say that he was a ‘friend and a mentor’. But it’s true. He taught me so much about what it means to be a good craftsman, a good worker, a good boss, a good artist and a good man. I’ll certainly be raising a glass in his honour.
Luc-isms - Old Auditorium Facilities Manager 2011-2014
We am a genius.
Ah, six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Wasn’t me man, someone who looks like me, doesn’t even look that much like me!
Not a bad looking kid but sometimes...
Kid! Get the feet!
Run on “F??K!” don’t wait to actually hear “RUN!”
That does it! Back in your cage!
With my brains and your looks, no wait, with my looks and your brains... No wait...
Good enough is good enough. That’s why they call it that.
I don’t claim to know everything. But what I DO know, is that you always lift one end at a
Good enough for Opera.
If I leave a lasting legacy at UBC it’ll be that all crews from now on will swear in French.
Luc was profoundly immersed in the tradition of theatre.
And so, from the Scottish play:
Then he is dead?
Aye, and brought off the field; your cause of sorrow
Must not be measured by his worth, for then
It hath no end.
Had he his hurts before?
Aye, on the front.
Today I sat down to watch NASCAR since there isn’t an F1 race this weekend. To my surprise my favourite F1 driver is racing. The Iceman Kimi Raikonned. The race just started but he’s doing okay as it’s a street course. Though he could be doing better…..This certainly reminded me of the lovely Sunday mornings with you and Marcel screaming at the drivers as we watched F1.
You lent me a book in the past 40 years. I have now begun to reread one you gave me many moons ago. The Tao of Piglet. This book has always been a favourite since Hoff respects Piglet sa the only one of the Pooh characters ‘to change, to grow, to become more than he was in the first place’. Kinda resonates with me. In closing… “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh?” asked Piglet. “Even longer,” Pooh answered. And that is that.
Luc has impacted so many of our lives in ways he often never realized. He was a man of many words with his extensive vocabulary that he was always happy to express. He was a grumpy man with a heart of gold and a way of getting people to aid him whenever he needed. But he was also a private man who kept his heart close while also wearing it on his sleeve. Words can not express the sadness that we all feel right now.
A Celebration of Life for Luc will be held this summer; date and location TBD. Luc will be present in our hearts and has a few more tricks up his sleeve for us yet.
I will close with the words of one of my favourite authors(also Tatiana’s). “I will not cry because it’s over. I will smile because it happen."