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Subject: Re: Dallas Samson and Dalila
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 22 Oct 2017 16:41:02 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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A committed performance of SAMSON ET DALILA can not be
dull  The three or four I have seen were among the most exciting
operatic experiences of my life.  The French operas that easily can
become boring to me  were composed by Massenet, Meyerbeer,
Offenbach, (yes, that one!) and Debussy.

dtmk



On Sun, Oct 22, 2017 at 2:45 PM, tom ponti <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I would have loved to see Gorr and Del Monco in S&D. It could Not be dull!
> I love most of the opera, especially Dalila's music, which includes two
> great arias and 3 great duets. I very much enjoy the dvd with Verrett and
> Domingo from San Francisco.
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]>
> on behalf of Max D. Winter <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2017 2:26 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [OPERA-L] Dallas Samson and Dalila
>
> Gordon Young wrote:
>
> "With last nights performance [of Samson et Dalila] 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” (?)."
>
> Not one of my favorites, either.  But with great singers - which you did
> not have, obviously -
> and a fine conductor who does more than beat time, and a good staging, it
> can make an
> effect.  If the tenor is not first rate, you might as well not go because
> it will be a waste of
> time.
>
> Dallas Civic Opera did S&D for the first time in 1964, with Del Monaco and
> Gorr.  There were
> problems at the final dress rehearsal.  Ronald Davis, in his book on the
> DCO, writes:
> "Shortly after arriving in Dallas, Del Monaco went out to Nieman-Marcus
> and bought a black
> cowboy suit - boots, hat, everything.  Rather than appearing in costume at
> the second dress
> rehearsal, he wore his cowboy outfit.  When the tenor talked onstage,
> during Gorr's big aria,
> the diva stopped singing, walked to the front of the stage, and said
> 'Maestro, why do I have
> to put up with that?'  The handful of people sitting in the audience
> applauded, causing Del
> Monaco to walk off the stage and refuse to come back.  Kelly went
> backstage to try to
> reason with Del Monaco, but it took a promise to redo the tenor's dressing
> room before he
> was appeased."  There is a famous tape of Gorr's angry outburst and of
> people applauding.
>
> In 1971 DCO mounted the opera with Vickers and Joy Davidson (a last minute
> substitute for
> the scheduled singer, Viorica Cortez, who lost her voice during
> rehearsals), a really fine
> performance of which there is a recording.
>
> The real problem is the first act, which to me is static and
> interminable.  You also need a
> convincing and spectacular temple collapse at the end.  It also helps if
> the famous
> Bacchanale (which I love) is not choreographed like a risible
> hoochy-kootchy number.
>
> The opera is not really first-rate music.  Meyerbeer at his best is much
> better.
>
> MDW
>
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