Tenor Isaiah Bell’s first-ever opera performance was with the Pacific Opera Victoria chorus in Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest in 2004. Since then he has gone on to perform as a soloist across North America, including creating the role of Antinous for the Canadian Opera Company’s world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, starring to critical acclaim in Mark Morris’s production of Curlew River in New York, and making regular appearances in concert with the Oratorio Society of New York, San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony. He is also a composer and writer.
Isaiah continued his relationship with Pacific Opera as a member of the Young Artist Program in 2008, performing the title role in the Opera in Schools production of Elijah’s Kite. Pacific Opera has also provided ongoing support for the development of his semi-autobiographical solo show The Book of My Shames, an “impossibly beautiful” and “comic, wrenchingly personal tour-de-force” which integrates his writing and composition practices. After presentations by Toronto’s Tapestry Opera, City Opera Vancouver, Opera Kelowna, and the Regina Symphony, The Book of My Shames will finally return home to Victoria in May 2023, following the COVID postponement of its original POV dates in April 2020.
Recent and upcoming projects for Isaiah include the world premiere of La beauté du monde at Opéra de Montréal, Elijah at Carnegie Hall, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville for Vancouver Opera, Lysander in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Des Moines Metro Opera, and the performance on film of his own translation and adaptation of Poulenc’s solo opera La voix humaine (City Opera Vancouver). He has spent the fall of 2022 editing a draft of his first novel for publication.