San Diego arts obituaries
Nicolas Reveles, known for his “enthusiasm and infectious joy.” Photo credit: Courtesy, San Diego Opera

The San Diego Opera has announced that a “beloved colleague and dear friend,” Nicolas Reveles, died in his sleep Tuesday.

The organization credited Reveles, who was born in 1948, with introducing thousands of people to opera, due “to his easygoing demeanor and knowledge, enthusiasm and infectious joy.”

Reveles also was a composer, creating two children’s operas, The Sleeping Beauty (2005) and Rumpelstiltskin (2008) through his work as director of education and community engagement at San Diego Opera; a queer opera, Sextet (2010), and the post-apocalyptic opera, Aftermath (2022).

His newest work, Ghosts, will receive its world premiere in an April San Diego Opera production.

Opera officials said working on Ghosts brought Reveles “great joy and filled him with energy” as he coached singers via Zoom, consulted with the stage director and conductor and wrote and revised program notes.

In recent months, Reveles received hospice care, but found the strength in February to attend a performance of Gianni Schicchi.

After retiring from the San Diego Opera, he found a second calling, focusing on helping gay, bisexual and queer-identified men recover from trauma.

Reveles was a collector of California native plants and loved cycling.

His old Bonita home garden, El Jardin de Marta, was a featured installation twice on the California Native Plant Society’s annual garden tour (2015 and 2017). And he participated at the annual Senior Games in Cleveland and completed the 545-mile AIDS/LifeCycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

He is survived by his long-term partner, Johnathan Satallante, and his mother, Grace Larsen.

Reveles donated his body to science. Details for a celebration of life are pending.