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Subject: Re: Samson and Dalila
From: Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 23 Oct 2017 00:24:21 -0500
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"Samson and Dalila" has always been one of my "guilty pleasures".   I love the opera and I unashamedly admit that I'd love to see it again and again. I was fifteen when I saw that Chicago production in 1962 and, while I was disappointed in Jon Vickers' absence (I had just bought his Solti/Aida with Price), I was thrilled with Rita Gorr and I wasted no time getting the EMI recording, which I now own on CD.  It's a good one.  I also love the Verrett/Vicker's one from Covent Garden., as well as the Verrett/Domingo production from San Francisco.  I love to see it on the stage.  That final scene is a barn burner.  I also love the music.  It was frequently performed at the Met in the earlier decades of the Twentieth Century, and we've heard it in Chicago several times.  I remember an especially good one in Chicago in 1965 with Jon Vickers and Grace Bumbry, and another in 1989 with Domingo and Baltsa.  It always sold tickets and the audiences loved it.  Partially oratorio?  Perhaps, but it still holds the stage very well, and old fashioned as it is, it never fails to thrill me.  I love the wild dancing in the last act and the collapse of the temple always thrills me.  A masterpiece it is not, but it sure makes for an evening of entertainment.  I could see it again and again.

                                                                                Les

> On October 22, 2017 at 5:07 PM Konrad Kuchenbach wrote:
> 
> 
>     My first Samson and Dalila was in November 1962 at the Chicago Lyric with Rita Gorr. Jon Vickers cancelled and we got Han Kart [sp?]. Yes it is not a great opera, but it has some great moments. I also remember the young Placido Domingo singing it in Milwaukee with Jean Madeira in 1965 (?). There was also Chicago’s production from the 80s which was shared with San Francisco. The collapse of the temple was spectacular. This production is available on DVD. Have always thought Saint-Saens to be a bit underrated.
> 
>     Konrad
> 
>     Milwaukee, WI
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