CONTACT: Victoria Winkelman, 214-768-3785
Kami Duncan, 214-768-2788,

April 15, 2004


DALLAS (SMU) - The Meadows Opera Theatre of SMU's Meadows School of Arts will present Puccini's comedic opera "Gianni Schicchi" at 8 p.m. on April 26 and 27 in the Margo Jones Theatre in the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus. Admission is FREE, and no ticket is required. Parking is available at Hillcrest and Binkley and in the garage beneath the Meadows Museum. For more information, call the Division of Music at 214.768.1951.

"Gianni Schicchi" is based on an actual historical figure who lived in Florence at the dawn of the Renaissance and was famous for his clever escapades. In the opera, a wealthy family patriarch dies and his relatives discover to their dismay that he has left all his money to the friars of the church. They decide to hide the news of the old man's death and hire con artist Gianni Schicchi to pose as the patriarch and write a new will leaving his money to the family -- with most unexpected results. The piece is a humorous social commentary on the difficult transition from ignorance to enlightenment, and is considered one of the
greatest masterpieces of the operatic repertoire.

"Gianni Schicchi" will be directed by Marciem Bazell, assistant professor and director of opera at the Meadows School. Bazell formerly directed opera productions and served on the faculty at two renowned
music schools in Philadelphia, The Curtis Institute of Music and The Academy of Vocal Arts. In addition, she has worked as a freelance director for regional opera companies for the past 15 years. Her directorial credits include Tosca, Faust, La Traviata, La Bohème, Rigoletto, Romeo et Juliette and many other productions for companies throughout the U.S., including The Chautauqua Opera, The Sarasota Opera, The Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Illinois, The El Paso Opera and others. She has also worked with young artists in the apprentice programs of the Sarasota, Chautauqua, Virginia and Des Moines operas.
This March marked Bazell's debut with Opera Delaware, where she directed productions of Menotti's "The Telephone" and "The Medium" with Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle.