By Nicolas Reveles

Balboa Theatre
868 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Friday, April 14, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 7:30 pm

Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 1:00 pm

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Ghosts is an evening of three one-act, horror-inspired operas by San Diego composer Nicolas Reveles.

Comprised of the works Eden, Dormir and House, San Diego Opera is excited to present the world premiere of these operas. Eden, which features a libretto by director John De Los Santos, explores the boundaries of madness and obsession and is a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. Dormir, libretto by Michael Vegas Mussman, is an imaginative exploration of what might happen when Old World spiritual practices meet the Christian belief system, when portals open and unknown, powerful entities appear. House, with a libretto by the composer, explores the idea that trauma haunts many of us, and that trauma remains in our bodies like ghosts.

Ghosts welcomes the return of mezzo-soprano Emily Fons. Directed by John de los Santos and conducted by Bruce Stasyna.

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Meet The Cast

Reveles Nic

Nicolas Reveles

Fons Emily

Emily Fons

John Delossantos

John de los Santos

Stasyna Bruce

Bruce Stasyna


Synopsis for Eden
1950: A solitary bachelor named Clay has amassed an enormous collection of paintings, with space for only one remaining. His friend and art-dealer Granada gifts him an unusual canvas that depicts a strange, leafless tree that seems to reach for the viewer. Clay is so overjoyed by his completed hoard of art that he stops leaving the house, neglecting his work and health. His impatient cousin, Sondra, arrives to demand answers, and before storming out, informs Clay that Granada has disappeared. All the other paintings slowly begin to change. A doctor arrives to diagnose Clay but becomes violently ill when he touches Clay’s new painting. Alone again, Clay’s world and paradise wither into a diseased hell, all while the leafless tree continues to reach for him.

Synopsis for Dormir

Yadira, a caregiver originally from Mexico, tries patiently to get Mr. Costello into bed for the night, but he resists and insults her. Costello accuses her of conspiring to kill him, then finally, exhausted, he collapses in sleep. Alone, Yadira reminisces about her upbringing in Mexico, the mysterious legends and tales told her by her grandmother. She remembers that tonight is June 21st, “la noche de San Juan”, the Feast of John the Baptist and the summer solstice. Yadira’s son, Javier, with whom she has been planning to murder Costello, arrives. He is ready to do the deed and save his mother from her abusive employer. While she vacillates, Javier urges her to let him do it. She finally nods, ‘yes.’ Javier enters the bedroom and smothers Costello with a pillow. Almost as soon as her son leaves, Yadira is overwhelmed with guilt. She hears strange noises and a voice that sounds like the old man calling her name. Was the murder successful? Is he really dead? Does she dare go into his room to discover the truth for herself?

Synopsis for House

A car pulls up to an old, two-story house in the dead of winter. The location is Providence, Kentucky, in the country. An unnamed woman steps out of the car, retrieves her luggage from the trunk, then walks her two children up the steps to the house. The three of them settle in and retire for the night. Trying to sleep, the woman hears a mysterious scratching which at first, she can’t identify. Mice? Rats behind the walls, or under the floorboards? Spring arrives and the garden surrounding the house bursts into life. The woman sees a lone figure, a man…perhaps a caretaker or gardener…wander through the yard. She thinks perhaps he can help her with the house, the yard…maybe even the mysterious nightly sounds. Approaching him she seems to get no response, but she gives him instruction about the garden and asks him to return. At night, the scratching persists. One day while waiting for her mysterious gardener, she sees something extraordinary, something that both attracts and repels her. Then she remembers…


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