Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Samson and Delilah

31 Days of Opera Awesomeness

Our second opera of the season is Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah. The impressive production full of action, ballet dancing, drama and great singing returns to our stage on February 16, 2013.

The plot

The Bible’s Samson and Delilah tells the tragic story of the Hebrew Samson who is send by god to save Israel from the Phillistines. Physically strong, Samson cannot repel the advances of the seductive Delilah. Urged on by the High Priest of Dagon, she makes him reveal the source of his strength, his hair, which she cuts, rendering him powerless. Captured and blinded, Samson calls on God for forgiveness, destroying the temple and all within it, including the treacherous Delilah.

 Act One

The production

Camille Saint-Saëns’s Samson and Delilah return to our stage in a production described by the North County Times as “…one of the most memorable San Diego Opera productions of the past decade (with) stunning and gargantuan sets, vivid lighting, gorgeous costumes, an erotic ballet and a seeming cast of thousands…”

Temple scenery

Owned by the San Francisco Opera, it was build in 1980 and designed by Douglas Schmidt.  The 211 costumes were designed by Carrie Robbins who used different fabrics to delineate the different groups. The Philistines have bright colors, fabrics with metallic threads, and a slim silhouette while the Hebrews are more modest in cottons and wools with stripes.  

Ballet Dancing

It is a truly Grand Opera production that includes fascinating scenery, great effects such as 12 bursts of flame and ballet dancing.

The cast

Clifton Forbis and Nadia Krasteva

 Anooshah Golesorkhi and Karen Keltner

Clifton Forbis returns as Samson, whose “…brilliant voice and acting (as Samson) conveyed the inner torment" (SignOnSanDiego). Mezzo-soprano Nadia Krasteva, described by the Chicago Tribune as having “…rich, smoky colors and earthy sensuality (in) her voice” makes her role debut as Delilah with Anooshah Golesorkhi as the scheming High Priest. San Diego’s own Karen Keltner conducts the sinuous and melodic score and Lesley Koenig directs this thrilling production.

You can take a closer visual look at our production here.

For more information visit our homepage.

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