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Subject: Re: Dallas Samson and Dalila
From: Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ferraro <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:25:34 -0400
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THE live performance of S&D to search for (IF available in at least 
decent sound) is a 1964(?) Met tour from Cleveland w/Vickers & 
Simionato.  Thus far, it is as elusive as Rysanek's Turandot & the 
Callas/Bjoerling Trovatore (drat).

paolo


On 10/23/2017 12:32 PM, tom ponti wrote:
> I very much agree with this opinion about S&D. It certainly contains one of the great roles for a mezzo, IMO,  and wonderful roles for tenor and baritone. Last night I listened to a performance with Vickers and Oriala Dominguez on You Tube. They did not say where or what year this live performance took place. Vickers was thrilling, she was wonderful and a bit more reserved than on the Mexico City Aida but still exciting. I loved her Mexico Amneris, as the whole cast was wonderfully over the top in that performance. At times, she almost sounded like a soprano which led me to think, that despite her strong NO when asked if she would ever perform the role, Crespin could have been a great Dalila? Callas does a great job with Dalila's arias on her French Album, and I think Crespin had a richer middle and lower register than Maria did.
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of G. Paul Padillo <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Monday, October 23, 2017 12:01 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Dallas Samson and Dalila
>
> Those who find my taste pedestrian are sure to feel even more superior upon my admission
> that I adore Saint Saens’ opera.  Perhaps a bit of childhood sentimentality factors in, but I
> have always found it – as the story inspiring it – to be exciting drama.
>
> More sophisticated opera lovers dismiss Samson with charges of “it’s an oratorio – even the
> composer called it that,” which is not true.  The composer’s own correspondence mentions
> his intent to write a Samson oratorio, but the librettist convinced him to create an opera,
> and that was what they did.  Only in England was it, because of a ban on operas based on
> Bible stories, forced to be presented in concert form.
>
> The premiere in Weimar was a huge success, critically and popularly, and while it took
> several more seasons before appearing in France, once it did, Samson and his gal pal began
> appearing at major houses all over the world to general enthusiasm from all.
>
> I’ve always been taken by Samson’s structure, particularly its opening sequence which, to
> me, feels similar to a great musical – brief orchestral introduction seamlessly seguing into a
> chorus which leads into the introduction of the hero, then the enemies ending in a sort of
> “call to arms” if you will.  This seldom fails to thrill me and nicely sets up the rest of the
> opera which, for me is chock full of gorgeous music.  While the Bacchanal may not be the
> most inspired or sophisticated (?) music, it does do its job provocatively, and brings down
> the house (!)which prompts me to ask, “what the hell is wrong with that?”
>
> The final scene, as cornball as it may sound, gives the chorus another opportunity to have a
> lot of fun with all that Dagon business before letting the tenor cut loose and ring out on a
> favorite note (Bb).
>
> I don’t feel guilty in the least loving this opera and there are reasons companies still
> produce it:  singers still enjoy singing it and enough audiences get a thrill from it!
>
> p.
>
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