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Beaver's Christmas opera

November 16, 2018

Canadian author Stephen Leacock wrote his short story Merry Christmas as a cry against the horrors of the First World War. On this centenary year of the armistice, the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and Saskatoon Opera present a piece adapted from the story by Royal Roads graduate and associate faculty member Dwayne Beaver.

Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock will be performed Nov. 23 and 24 at the Quance Theatre at the University of Saskatchewan.

Beaver, a screen media professional, instructor and researcher, worked with composer Neil Weisensel and librettist Pamela Post to create the one-act opera. It premiered in Vancouver in 2003; the Saskatoon production marks its third performance.

“In much of my work, I explore the subject of masculine vulnerability and the roles men find themselves trapped in based on performative gender expectations. Those roles evolved though the twentieth century far more radically than we realize, compared to centuries before,” says Beaver.

Merry Christmas, Stephen Leacock addresses how the First World War presented a major turning point in how men dealt with their vulnerabilities. It is about a distraught and shell-shocked Father Christmas questioning his assigned role and feeling lost about his place in a world that no longer sees his value.”

Beaver holds a Master of Arts in Professional Communication (2014) and is an associate faculty member in the School of Communication and Culture and the College of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Away from the stage, Beaver is busy with many projects, including a documentary on the demise of freedom of information funded by Canadian Institute for Information and Privacy and through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He is also developing a dramatic mini-series, Discipline, with Screen Siren Pictures.