Wednesday, November 14, 2018
‘Samson and Delilah’ Opens Met, HD Season
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Friday, October 19, 2018
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

The epic biblical drama of the strongman Samson and Delilah will hit the big screen on Saturday as the New York Metropolitan Opera presents its first The Met: Live in HD show of the 2018-19 season.

Sun Valley Opera and Metropolitan Theatres will present the screening of Camille Saint-Saens’ “Samson et Dalila” at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Big Wood 4 theater in Hailey.

Dick Brown will offer a pre-opera lecture at 10:30 a.m.

Tickets are $16, available at the theatre. Students will be admitted free as part of Sun Valley Opera’s educational outreach.

“Dick Brown tells me this is one not to be missed,” said Mary Jo Helmeke, executive director of Sun Valley Opera.

The production, which will features backstage interviews during intermission, features mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and tenor Roberto Alagna, who were electrifying in The Met’s production of “Carmen.”

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 seductive staging with an unforgettable scene at the Temple of Dagon where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies.

Sir Mark Elder is directing The Met’s first production of the work in 20 years.

“Samson and Delilah, Op. 47,” is a grand opera in three acts and four scenes. It was first performed in Weimar at the Grand Ducal Theater, now the Staatskapelle Weimar, in 1877 in a German translation.

The opera is based on the biblical story found in Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges. It follows Samson, a Nazarite and the final judge of Israel, who has been fighting off his people’s enemy the Philistines with his great strength. When Delilah is bribed by the Philistines to discover the source of his strength, she learns that it’s his hair and, so, has it cut as he sleeps.

Her name has henceforth been associated with treacherous women.

The second act love scene in Delilah’s tent is one of the set pieces that define French opera. It features  two well known arias, including one that starts “Spring beings.” The other, “Softly awakes  my heart” is one of the most popular recital pieces in the mezzo-soprano/contralto repertoire.

 

 

 

 

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