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Subject: Re: Dallas Samson and Dalila
From: Ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Ombrarecds <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 22 Oct 2017 13:35:25 -0500
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Borodina is so uninteresting, as is this opera. I think the Met televised it once. Snore.

Patrick Byrne

Sent from my iPhone

> On Oct 22, 2017, at 1:14 PM, robert levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I agree, Bob and Gordon. In fact, SS, at one point, referred to it as an
> Oratorio, and its lack of dramatic movement answers to that description.
> 
> But a great Delilah - Gorr, earlier Borodina and Samson - Vickers, Domingo
> (vocally), McCracken - can turn it into something special. Well, about an
> hour of it, as Bob says.
> 
> And the Bachanal is simply lousy circus music.
> Bob L
> 
>> On Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Hi Gordon and list
>> 
>> It may be considered Saint-Saens' "masterpiece" but it is not
>> generally cnsidered to be a masterpiece when judged against
>> the broader range of operas. Still, it has some wonderful things.
>> 
>> Those things, though, can seem less than wonderful when
>> performed poorly or indifferently.
>> 
>> At the Met, in the mid sixties, there was a production with Jess Thomas,
>> Rita Gorr and Gabriel Bacquier, conducted by Georges Pretre, that was,
>> outside of Thomas, magnificently performed, and it was a visual knockout.
>> 
>> The opera has much too much filler, but beyond the ordinary are
>> Dalila's two great arias, a fabulous duet for Dalia and the High Priest,
>> the great love duet and a very good final scene. And a few other
>> effective moments.
>> 
>> Rita Gorr was simply sensational both visually and vocally. She and
>> Bacquier
>> brought the audience to a near frenzy with the great second act duet.
>> She filled the auditorium with a cascade of sound rarely heard, and he, of
>> course was the definition of "class". It was somethin'.
>> 
>> Mario del Monaco was in the audience the night of the premiere, and he
>> received a huge ovation as he reentered the theater before the second act.
>> 
>> When Vickers sang Samson everything seemed just a little better, and
>> later, McCracken was no slouch.
>> 
>> Gordon, I think it really has about an hour of very good music, which
>> approaches memorable in the right hands. But, a "masterpiece" it
>> ain't.
>> 
>> Bob
>> 
>>> On Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 13:07 gordon young <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Friday night the Dallas Opera began its season with Samson and Dalila.
>>> Clifton Forbis sang Samson and Olga Borodina was Dalila. Emmanuel
>> Villaume
>>> conducted.
>>> 
>>> 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
>>> inventive.
>>> 
>>> 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
>>> Sulimsky
>>> Gordon
>>> 
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