The Book of My Shames

On May 18, 19 and 20, 2023, City Opera Vancouver (COV) will present The Book of My Shames by Isaiah Bell and Sean Guist at the Firehall Arts Centre. This production marks the show’s Vancouver premiere. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased here.

The Book of My Shames is a touring, original one-man theatre production performed by Victoria-based tenor Isaiah Bell, co-created by Isaiah and director Sean Guist, with original words and music by Isaiah, accompanied by a four-person band.

In The Book of My Shames, a persistent emptiness of heart drives a youth from a restrictive fundamentalist commune to a passion for bad men, and on to a successful but strangely hollow life on the stage. Combining rapid-fire monologues and personal stories with an array of original music — chansons and ballads, cleverly touching cabaret songs, and expansive operatic scenas — this “comic, wrenching, and personal tour-de-force” reminds us that desire, rejection, shame, and the longing to be loved are themes common to us all. Isaiah just does it with operatic pathos and a wink, and possibly the most memorable use of a red plastic bucket you have yet to see.

Reviews of The Book of My Shames describe an experience that is “impossibly beautiful”, “poignant, thoughtful, raw and honest”, “touching, very funny, disturbing and sometimes quite revolting”, and a “fascinating creation”.

ABOUT THE ARTIST... Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell began his professional career as tenor in City Opera’s production of Britten’s Curlew River (2010), in the role of Madwoman, which led to a national career including lead roles with the Canadian Opera Company. More recently, Isaiah led COV's new English adaptation of The Human Voice (2021). More about Isaiah at