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Subject: Dallas Samson and Dalila
From: gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 22 Oct 2017 12:06:59 -0500

text/plain (48 lines)

Friday night the Dallas Opera began its season with Samson and Dalila.
Clifton Forbis sang Samson and Olga Borodina was Dalila. Emmanuel Villaume

With last nights performance this opera may go into my pile (it’s a small
pile) of never again operas. I am curious to know what others think of
Saint-Saens “masterpiece” (?). Last night I felt that the orchestration
lacked complexity and the orientalism struck me as being more clichéd than

The last time the DO did it the tenor was Vickers and, being just a bit
provocative, Clifton Forbis is no Vickers. His voice was downright ugly and
painful. As painful as it was for the audience it must have been painful
for the singer as well. I won’t be seeing the production again so am not
able to judge if it was just an off night for Mr. Forbis.

Borodina sang well enough but didn’t create an alluring Dalila. The first
act aria was slow and monotonous with little dynamic or tonal variety. She
does have a strong chest voice but often it seemed jarring even annoying
and not of the musical line.

Why begin the opera with a scene dominated by a chorus seemingly more
appropriate for an oratorio. Again for me the music is dull and the equally
dull staging didn’t help by distracting with some visual titilation.

Throughout the stage direction seemed clumsy and incomplete. In the act
love duet Samson was looking into the wings away from Dalila who was placed
across the stage in her “tent”. The bacchanal in this production seemed as
much auto-de-fe as orgy and by this time I had become so bored that I was
craving an orgy.

Next Friday Traviata with Georgie Jarman, Rene Barbera and Viadislav

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