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Subject: Re: Dallas Samson and Dalila
From: Scott Grunow <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:[log in to unmask]
Date:Mon, 23 Oct 2017 13:31:44 -0400

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I have always enjoyed this opera for one reason: the mezzo (really  more contralto; the role can be quite low, and the music flows better if the mezzo isn't gear changing into chest) is the lead. 

I also think this opera benefits from a lighter, more elegant approach rather than heavy-handed dramatics; for this approach, check out the Luccioni/Bouvier recording. 

Gorr is superb vocally, but not as sensual as she could be in Printemps qui commence, which is also heavily ironic (Callas catches the irony). Much depends on how Dalila plays it; one can easily vamp it up, but perhaps the approach of he attraction being that she is not just lying, but maybe she is turned on by Samson at the same time could be more interesting.  

I also find the opera''s structure enticing, the way the short prelude becomes the opening chorus of lament (very oratorio-like, but it works), and even how Samson's big scene a la Florestan in prison fades into the bacchanal. 

I also think this piece requires star singers who can characterize and not descend into kitsch, even though the opera, especially the original scenic requirements, certainly could be viewed as kitschy like Cecil B. Demille meets Gustave Dore. 


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