When: October 20, 2018
From: 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Together with Faust and Carmen, Samson and Dalila remains the most popular opera in the French repertory. Some 130 years after its premiere, it still creates the same murky magic and exudes a voluptuousness that the Holy Scriptures would certainly reproach! The Holy Scriptures? They provided the theme for this opera, which was composed to a prose piece by Ferdinand Lemaire taken from a chapter of the Book of Judges. Camille Saint-Saëns displays his talents as a virtuoso mosaicist: the noble spirituality of the subject shifts here towards the grand oratorios of the past; here, monumental frescos come to life, revisiting Gounod and Meyerbeer, while everywhere else there is an almost Wagnerian sensuality floating about, that wild and seductive something associated with Dalila. In a sequence of ideally merged scenes, religion and seduction add up to an irresistible alchemy.
When mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and tenor Roberto Alagna joined forces for a new production of Carmen at the Met, the results were electrifying. Now this star duo reunites for another sensual French opera when they open the season in the title roles of Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic Samson et Dalila. Darko Tresnjak, who won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical in 2014 for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, makes his Met debut directing a vivid, seductive staging, featuring a monumental setting for the last-act Temple of Dagon, where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies. Sir Mark Elder conducts the first new Met production of the work in 20 years. Approx. runtime: 3:29 [2 Intermissions]
Tickets: $22-$28 | Students: $15
Thanks to The Edgar Foster Daniels Foundation for its support.