The Santa Monica College Music Department will present SMC Opera Theatre in a double bill of Italian comic opera. Giacomo Puccini’s one-act masterpiece “Gianni Schicchi” and Gaetano Donizetti’s delightful “Il campanello” will be performed with full staging and costume.

Performances will be held in The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard), Santa Monica. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12. Matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 12.

“Gianni Schicchi” is one of the most loved and commonly performed operas in the repertoire. The libretto is based on an incident mentioned in Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.” Set in Florence, the opera tells the comic story of a money-grabbing family who relies on the cunning of Gianni Schicchi to try to change the will of a wealthy relative. Originally designed to be part of Puccini’s “Il trittico” —three one-act operas with contrasting themes — SMC Opera pairs the opera with a lesser known Donizetti opera, “Il campanella.”

“Il campanello” (full title “Il campanello di notte”) is set in Naples and tells a tale of a crafty young man who tries to disrupt the wedding night of his former girlfriend.

“Il campanello” was so popular at the time of its release, it was revived every year for the next 10 years. Less than an hour long, it includes delightful chorus numbers, including a Brindisi (drinking song) similar to the famous “Libiamo” from Verdi’s “La traviata.”

“Il campanello” will be a great opener for “Gianni Schicchi,” which is fairly unique as a fast-paced, one-hour opera with all of the characters in the family interacting as an ensemble most of the time. “Lots of Italian family fun!” said SMC Voice Professor Dr. Janelle DeStefano, who co-directs SMC Opera Theatre with SMC Coach/Accompanist Mercedes Juan Musotto as Music Director and guest Stage Director Joseph DeStefano.

Tickets are $20 General Admission ($10 for current SMC students with valid ID). A modest service charge applies. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 310-434-3005. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office up to 1 hour before the performance start time. Free parking available on the premises.

For tickets and information, please go to or call (310) 434-3005 or (310) 434-4323.

Submitted by Grace Smith, SMC Public Information Officer