Opera Kelowna welcomes back renowned Canadian tenor Isaiah Bell and his one-man show The Book of My Shames

One-man opera returns

Cindy White

One of Canada’s most renowned tenors is bringing his one-man show back to Kelowna.

Isaiah Bell’s The Book Of My Shames takes over the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre For the Arts Friday and Saturday night.

“We did bring it here with Opera Kelowna during the pandemic, when we could only have 50 people,” says Rosemary Thomson, artistic director Opera Kelowna. “So few people got to see it that we wanted to bring it back. It’s a wonderful show.

The Opera is an intensely personal re-telling of Bell’s upbringing and acceptance of his sexuality.

Director Sean Guist urged Bell to write The Book Of My Shames. It premiered at Toronto Pride in 2019.

“At the end of the day great art, like hopefully this show is for people, gives them a new perspective. (it) puts a story in front of them that maybe they’re not familiar with but that they can identify with because of the human experience. And we take out the differences and really try to find what brings us together,” explains Guist.

Bell says that unlike many Operas, this show is meant to be seen in a small theatre.

“We would never want to perform it in a venue bigger than the one we’re doing it in this time, because it’s a very intimate show and you want to be able to see my face.”

He says he doesn’t want to lose the sense that the Opera is unfolding in your living room. Bell will be singing solo, accompanied by a live chamber orchestra.

Thompson will be giving a pre-performance talk at 6:45 p.m. both Friday and Saturday. Friends of Dorothy Lounge will host a cocktail hour after the shows in the RCA Atrium.

Regular priced tickets are available through the RCA box office or you can find Opera Kelowna pay-what-you-will tickets here.

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