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Subject: Re: Has "Samson et Dalila" gone the way of "Mignon"
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Fri, 14 Oct 2016 13:04:18 -0400

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I've always been a fan of this opera, mostly because the lead woman is a mezzo, actually, the role lies low, practically contralto. The lower middle is essential in this role, and that's why Zajick dropped the part, and even though I adore Verrett in the staging with Domingo, one can hear her experiencing trouble focusing the voice in this area, more so in the staging with Vickers. 

In terms of staging, perhaps, until one gets to the Bacchanale, perhaps it's somewhat difficult to make the action less static (but hey, where's the specific stage action in Tristan? drinking a cup, extinguishing a torch, and a fight at the end).

In terms of recordings, Gorr/Vickers/Blanc for me remains central as a whole performance, but Bouvier/Luccioni actually seem much more sexier (yes, a sexy Dalila, not a vamp or a man eater a la Obrasztova or Baltsa). 

I've said this before to the list, but Callas' recordings of the three arias are for me close to the best; instead of swooping, dropping, chesting, hooting, and vamping, she combines in her singing and interpretation (as Bouvier does) sensuality, elegance, and danger.



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