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Nicolas Reveles - Composer / Librettist

Pianist, composer and educator Nicolas Reveles just retired from the position of Director of Education and Community Engagement at San Diego Opera, a company with which he’s been involved as a speaker on opera since 1977. In that time he’s given countless lectures and talks on opera, and as Director of Education he devised innovative education programs for children and adults: the Words and Music and Senior to Senior opera writing programs, Community Conversations, Opera Exposed, Opera on Track and the San Diego Opera Podcast among others. From 1999 to 2015 he was the host and writer for UCSD-TV’s OperaTalk with Nic Reveles, a program seen throughout the country via the UC Television Network. In his work at the opera he has been a collaborative pianist for some of the finest singers in the world including Carol Neblett, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Ailyn Perez, Giuseppe Filianoti, Marianne Cornetti and Stephen Costello.


Dr. Reveles began his professional career as a church musician and was choirmaster and organist at churches in the San Diego area, most notably at Sacred Heart Church in Coronado, Pius X Church in Chula Vista, Torrey Pines Christian Church in La Jolla (acting Director of Music) and the Immaculata Parish, Alcala Park in his position as the Director of Choral Music at the University of San Diego. He was also the Director of Church Music for the Diocese of San Diego (1977-1990). Reveles holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of San Diego, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Redlands and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with the great American pianist Gary Graffman.  Past positions have included Associate Professor of Music at the University of San Diego (1977-1990) and pianist/music director for Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project (1993-1998), touring the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East with the dancer and his company. Notable performances included appearances at the Perelada Festival in Spain, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan and at the National Opera Theatre in Prague before an invited audience that included poet and playwright Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic.


As a composer, Reveles has produced countless sacred choral works for the liturgy, most notably a setting of St. John’s Passion published by Cooperative Ministries (1980). He has composed three operas, the children’s operas The Sleeping Beauty (2005) and Rumpelstiltskin (2008) for the San Diego Opera Ensemble, and Sextet, a queer opera (2010), a commission funded by the Irvine Foundation for Diversionary Theatre. He has also composed scores and created sound designs for the Old Globe Theatre, North Coast Repertory Theatre and Arizona Repertory Theatre. His mariachi score for Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro for ART in 1992 was named ‘Musical of the Year’ by The Arizona Republic. He has just completed a one-act opera with librettist Michael Vegas Mussman, Take Care of Him, and is currently working on a monodrama for soprano and chamber ensemble, Ghosts.


His passions include California native plants and cycling. His Bonita garden, El Jardin de Marta, was a featured installation twice on the California Native Plant Society’s annual garden tour (2015 & 2017). In 2013 he participated at the annual Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio in the national cycling time-trials and completed the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles in June, 2018.  

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