Isaiah Bell is a Canadian-American performer, composer, and writer. Onstage, his work is characterized by his “beautiful tenor, command of style, and natural stage presence”. His “willingness to invest himself wholly into the character” and “attractive, youthfully sexy stage presence” bolster his “strong, glorious voice with its heroic, oratorio-style ring” and “exquisite lyricism” so that, in the words of one New York Times critic, “you hang on his face, his words, and on the gleaming current of his vocal tone.” He’s also a ginger, which helps. In October of 2018 Isaiah will create the role of Antinous, the tragic lover of the Roman emperor Hadrian, in the world premiere of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian at the Canadian Opera Company. He appears alongside Thomas Hampson as Hadrian and Karita Mattila as Plotina.
Isaiah recently returned to Mark Morris’ acclaimed double-bill production of Curlew River/Dido & Aeneas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, giving “a performance of exquisite poignancy” (The New York Times) as the Madwoman in Curlew River, opposite Stephanie Blythe as Dido. Shortly thereafter he made his Carnegie Hall debut, winning third place in the 2017 OSNY Solo Competition at Weill Recital Hall.
In the current season, Isaiah also makes solo debuts with Opera Atelier (Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria), the Caramoor Festival, the Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as singing Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins with the Toronto Symphony, Messiah with the National Arts Centre Orchestra conducted by Alexander Shelley, and his first Beethoven Symphony no. 9 with the Seattle Symphony.
As a composer, Isaiah has written four operas – including the music and libretti for two operas for young audiences commissioned and widely toured by Opera NUOVA – and a number of song cycles and arrangements. He shares a very nice vizsla with his husband René, who is also very nice.