May 18 – May 20 | Firehall Theatre


Running Time: 85 Mins | No Intermission

Vancouver City Opera is pleased to present the Vancouver premiere of The Book of My Shames by Isaiah Bell and Sean Guist at the Firehall Arts Centre Thursday, May 18 through Saturday, May 20, 2023. 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”.

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

Tickets: $40, general admission

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May 18 – May 20 | Firehall Theatre
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Our Place in the World
The Firehall is where my family’s stories began to be told again.
Rosemary Georgeson
Sahtu Dene & Coast Salish Artist, Writer, Storyteller

We’re Grateful to Be Here.

The Firehall Arts Centre is located on the unceded and traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations where they lived and gathered together for thousands of years. Acknowledging their connections to these lands is a significant part of what the Firehall considers when choosing the productions and presentations we undertake and how that work shapes and impacts those around us. We ask our community to reflect on what being present here means to you and those around you.