Entries by John De Los Santos

Cag + Pag

” …de los Santos convincingly interspersed scenes from the two operas into a combined drama. The work was remarkably successful, creating something new from something old, and demonstrated how seamlessly these operas fit together stylistically and musically.” – Opera News


“…a journey through mythological archetypes and haunting multi-hued split-screen images. The mind behind these striking tableaux was director John de los Santos.” – The Boston Globe

The Roost

“A mini-opera’s moods of lust, fear, hope, and love capture our anxieties about this perilous time.” – DC Metro Theater Arts


Carmilla, composed by Robert Paterson

Currently in development

Inspired by Joseph Le Fanu’s 1872 novella, Carmilla is a tale of nightmarish seduction and resilient courage.

When Adonis Calls

When Adonis Calls, composed by Clint Borzoni

World Premiere: Asheville Lyric Opera, 2018

John de los Santos constructed the libretto for When Adonis Calls from the poems of Gavin Geoffrey Dillard. 

Service Provider

Service Provider details the erosion of modern romance by our obsession with mobile technology. When a loving couple goes out for their anniversary dinner at an elegant restaurant, the evening descends into farcical disaster as the incessant cell phone usage ultimately unmasks the fractured reality of their marriage.

The Copper Queen

The Copper Queen, composed by Clint Borzoni

The Copper Queen was  selected as the winner of Arizona Opera’s inaugural commission initiative, Arizona SPARK.

The Copper Queen focuses around the cultural lore of a real woman in Arizona history, Julia Lowell, who lived at The Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee, Arizona during the first decade of the twentieth century. 

When Adonis Calls

“One of the greatest strengths of When Adonis Calls lies in the creation of a libretto/concept by de los Santos.” – Chicago Theatre Review

The Merry Widow

“The production brims with energetic performers, some taking extravagant advantage of the wide comic berth director and choreographer John de los Santos affords them.” – La Scena Musicale

Vivaldi & Pergolesi

“LoftOpera has created a moving Stabat Mater…De los Santos imagines that the Virgin Mary is mourning not only the death of her ‘son of God’ but also deaths of four of her children.” – Berkshire Fine Arts

Pure Country

“…the performances and songs are so appealing; it takes you to a thoughtful place on more than one occasion.” – The Dallas Morning News


“John de los Santos’ direction set up the conflicts well, adding nuance where the libretto doesn’t bother.” – The Wall Street Journal

La Cage Aux Folles

“We need ‘La Cage’ more than ever. Skylight’s production of the musical shows it’s still relevant — and tons of fun. The accomplished choreography and rapid-moving spectacle stem from John de los Santos.”- Urban Milwaukee

Le Comte Ory

“… the polish and panache of the staging, directed by John de los Santos, keep the farce from ever seeming amateurish. It’s a perfect union of New York’s most raucous and delightful opera company with one of the most raucous and delightful works in the repertory.”- The New York Times

Service Provider

“The crowd-pleaser was “Service Provider” by Christopher Weiss and John de los Santos, about a couple whose anniversary dinner in a restaurant is compromised by the wife’s constant texting and the husband’s lover’s subsequent intrusion.” – The Washington Post

Great Scott

“Choreographer John de los Santos devised a perfectly (and purposely) tacky pre-earthquake dance with four male dancers and a large ewer. …they were mesmerizing.”- San Diego Story

The Rose and the Knife

“this youthful company drew a youthful audience of 400 to a warehouse deep in Bushwick, Brooklyn, for a performance of — lieder? I was surprised, too, as I was by the effectiveness of the production, which wove together song cycles by Berlioz and Mahler into an affecting, excellently played and sung reflection on lost love.”- The New York Times

Daughter of the Regiment

“Arizona Opera just concluded its impressive 2014/15 season with a comically delightful and beautifully sung “Daughter of the Regiment.” It was stage director John de los Santos, in his Arizona Opera debut, that kept the opera’s pace brisk and crafted the richly amusing comic machinations.”- Curtain Up Phoenix

The Golden Apple

Named one of the Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2014 by The Dallas Morning News
Named one of the best theatre productions of 2014 by the Dallas Observer

Soho Cinders

“Uptown Players American premiere offers a welcome and deliciously adult take on the fairy tale. John de los Santos [provides] smart direction and snappy choreography.” – The Dallas Morning News

The Pearl Fishers

“…a thrilling and gorgeous production. This is the best work that director/choreographer John de los Santos has done to date. He doesn’t overburden the opera and lets it speak for itself.” – Theater Jones


“Stage director and choreographer John de los Santos’ background includes both opera and musical theater, and it shows. There are differences between what kind of staging works for each, and it’s nice to see an opera company perform a musical with an understanding of the differences.” – The Daily Progress

Green Sneakers

“John de los Santos’ thoroughly considered staging offered a narrative within the music and text’s emotional diversity.” – Stage and Cinema


“…a shimmery, sweet confection. The overall production, directed by John de los Santos, was very pretty, conjuring up all those storybook pictures from the past — sumptuous costumes in muted pastels and shining fabrics, fantastical wigs, and simple but effective scenery.” – Louisville.com

Sweeney Todd

“You can’t bring off this kind of volatile, satirical story without a keen understanding of human nature and delicate chemistry. What de los Santos has accomplished is breathtaking.”- The Examiner

Smokey Joe’s Café

“It would be hard to complain that the production of Smokey Joe’s Cafe that WaterTower Theatre opened Monday lacked soul. It captures the passion of the songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, as well as their wit, verve and, yes, sophistication. Choreographer John de los Santos keeps the nine performers moving along and gets the audience’s blood boiling.”- The Dallas Morning News

Spring Awakening

*Named one of the Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2011 by The Dallas Morning News
*Named one of the Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2011 by The Examiner
*Named the #1 Theatre Production of 2011 by Alexandra Bonifield of Critical Rant & Rave with recognition for Outstanding Choreography
*Column Award Winner for Best Choreography

The Mikado

“… sly, imaginative, very humorous and sophisticated…(de los Santos) maintains continuity throughout the two acts and slips into the traditional sections gracefully. He skillfully blocked the more than 23 players imaginatively…and provided rowdy choreography.” – Daily Gazette

Don Giovanni

“The minuet, accompanied to some of Mozart’s most famous music, becomes a madcap but meticulously complex tango, beautifully choreographed by John de los Santos.”
– D Magazine

Altar Boyz

*DFW Critics’ Forum Award Winner for Best Choreography
*Named one of the Top Ten Theatre Productions of 2009 by the Dallas Voice

Cosi Fan Tutte

“The Living Opera’s version of Cosi fan tutte offers musical pleasures and a distinctly modern view of this old story of war between the sexes. As up-to-date as the latest iteration of Apple’s iphone…this is a sexier than usual Cosi, and it emphasizes the wild life of the frat milieu.” – The Dallas Morning News