San Diego Opera presents ‘Samson and Delilah’

Mezzo soprano Nadia Krasteva is Delilah and tenor Clifton Forbis is Samson in San Diego Opera’s SAMSON AND DELILAH. Photo by J. Katarzyna Woronowicz. San Diego Opera, February 2013

SAN DIEGO OPERA

THE CAST

Delilah: Nadia Krasteva
Samson: Clifton Forbis
High Priest of Dagon: Anooshah Golesorkhi
Old Hebrew: Gregory Reinhart
Conductor: Karen Keltner
Director: Lesley Koenig
Choreographer: Kenneth von Heidecke

PERFORMANCES

Saturday, Feb. 16 at 7pm
Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7pm
Friday, Feb. 22 at 7pm
Sunday, Feb, 24 at 2pm

As a matter of interest and a comment on the passage of time:  The original San Francisco Opera presentation of this production of Samson et Dalilia took place in 1980 at War Memorial Opera House and was made possible by and produced through the cooperation of the Gramma Fisher Foundation of Marshalltown, Iowa, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. The conductor was Julius Rudel, the stage director Nicolas Joel. The cast featured a sensational Plácido Domingo (then in his prime) as Samson,  Arnold Voketaitis as Abimélech, a superb Wolfgang Brendel as the High Priest of Dagon, and the unforgettable Shirley Verrett as Dalila. It was telecast for PBS’s Great Performances and has been preserved as a DVD recording.

I was in the audience during the first performance. It was sensational at the time — and the temple collapse alone (which functioned properly back then) thrilled the audience — along with Domingo’s high B-flat. And here it is — through the miracle of You Tube.

And here is a Dalila t0 remember singing “Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” — Shirley Verrett, from another telecast

Here is the original program in a PDF file.

Comments about the San Diego Opera production are welcomed below.

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