The Book of My Shames

The Book of My Shames
Created by Isaiah Bell and Sean Guist

Persistent emptiness of heart drives a young man out from the shadow of a restrictive fundamentalist sect into obsessive passions for bad men, and onward to a successful but strangely hollow life on the stage.

The story offers an insightful and tender exploration of life’s awkward underbelly, animated by sharp wit and occasionally shocking candor as Charismatic Canadian tenor, writer, and composer Isaiah Bell guides the audience through the permutations of a life defined by what it’s missing. The Book of My Shames combines rapid-fire monologues and personal confessions in a cabaret-style performance. It packs a great deal into 90-minutes: the work moves subtly between moments of monologue and music infused with honesty, pain, charm and humour.

This piece offers a diverse array of original music — chansons and ballads, cleverly touching torch songs, and expansive operatic scenas. Isaiah Bell’s songwriting is modern but lyrical, blending his disarming conversational tone with a sophisticated classical- and cabaret-influenced musical aesthetic. The original score for voice and piano is complemented by violin, cello, and percussion ensemble. With pathos, a wink, and an extraordinary vocal performance, Isaiah delivers a “comic, wrenching, and personal tour-de-force” that blurs the boundaries of the personal to become about all of us.

The performance has no intermission.
Further details and cast biographies are available at

The Book of My Shames premiered in 2019 in Toronto, and has been developed with support from Tapestry Opera, Pacific Opera Victoria, and Opera Kelowna.