Fri Jun 24–Sun Jun 26, 2022

Both Eyes Open

Philip Kan Gotanda's newest work is a haunting and fantastical chamber opera about a Japanese American farmer incarcerated in WWII
Ticket sales ended for this event.

The performance on Friday at 2pm is a public preview performance. $10 tickets will be available at the door or you can reserve regular priced tickets now.




World Premiere. Both Eyes Open is a chamber opera that tells a haunting love story and tale of perseverance about a Japanese American farmer and his wife, who are incarcerated in an American concentration camp during the hysteria of World War II. Jinzo loses everything and gives up. A Daruma and the ghost of Jinzo’s wife pull him back from despair and he eventually finds his inspiration: growing things in the soil. Both Eyes Open juxtaposes true events with the fantasy that borders on the sublime and is grounded with a sardonic humor. Jinzo perseveres. He endures and reclaims a vibrant humanity in the face of betrayal and sacrifice. Jinzo’s soul is saved, but at what cost?

Both Eyes Open looks to the past for guidance and inspiration, questioning whether 1942 America is so different from today. This magical, meta-layered, fictional account of a Japanese American man coming to terms with the loss of his dignity and his country, is a contemporary mash up of historical atrocity and the whimsical folklore of the Daruma “Wishing” Doll.



John Duykers
Suchan Kim
Kalean Ung


Creative Team

First Look Sonoma, Paul Dresher Ensemble, and Presidio Theatre co-present Both Eyes Open, a new chamber opera composed by Max Giteck Duykers with libretto by Philip Kan Gotanda. The international cast features two rising stars, Suchan Kim and Kalean Ung, and renowned tenor John Duykers, with conductor Benjamin Makino, stage director Melissa Weaver and Shinichi Iova-Koga as movement director. This opera-theater hybrid features the latest stagecraft side-by-side with elements of ancient traditions. Max Giteck Duykers’ rhythmic and propulsive score ranges from lyricism to taiko drumming, to big band and undulating electronic samples. It is scored for baritone, soprano, violin, clarinets, Marja Mutru on piano, and Joel Davel on his Marimba Lumina. Animated projections by Kwame Braun and Matthew E. Jones help to convey the words and evoke this surreal psychological journey of awakening.


The Both Eyes Open project is made possible with generous support from California Humanities, National Park Service – Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, Japanese American Community Foundation of Oakland, U.C. Berkeley’s Japanese American Studies Advisory Committee, Brooklyn Arts Council, Bank of Marin, The Jerome Foundation and San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund Grants for the Arts, plus generous individuals and businesses.


Photo Credits: John Duykers by Albert Levine; Suchan Kim and Kalean Ung by Robbie Sweeny



COVID-19 Safety

Updated 5/26/22

Either proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test are required for entry to this event. Masks are required while indoors. For more information, please see the theatre’s COVID-19 Safety Guidelines.



Ticket prices are subject to change. The Presidio Theatre allows returns up to 48 hours in advance of a performance. Processing fees cannot be refunded. For more information, please see the theatre’s Return Policy.

If you need assistance with ticketing please contact us at or 415-960-3949.



Fri, Jun 24
Sat, Jun 25
Sun, Jun 26

Run Time

90 minutes

Join our mailing list