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Samson et Dalila (1981)

| Drama, Music | TV Movie
While the rest of the Hebrews bewail their fate, Samson alone trusts in God's promise of liberty. Abimelech, the Philistine satrap of Gaza, enters to mock the Hebrews' God, proclaiming the ... See full summary »

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Shirley Verrett ...
Wolfgang Brendel ...
Kevin Langan ...
Arnold Voketaitis ...
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Julius Rudel ...
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While the rest of the Hebrews bewail their fate, Samson alone trusts in God's promise of liberty. Abimelech, the Philistine satrap of Gaza, enters to mock the Hebrews' God, proclaiming the superiority of Dagon, and the Hebrews are afraid of him. But calls them to show some defiance, so Abimelech attacks Samson with his sword. Samson seizes the sword and strikes him dead. The Hebrews scatter and the High Priest of Dagon appears, cursing the Hebrews. When a messenger reports that the Hebrews are ravaging the harvest, the High Priest forms a plan to use Delilah to overcome Samson's strength. Delilah's beauty is such that Samson can't resist her for long. She begs to know the secret of his supernatural strength, but he refuses, though he says he loves her. Delilah betrays Samson by having some Philistine soldiers seize him and throw him into a prison in Gaza, where his hair is cut off. Written by Anonymous

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Version of Samson und Delila (1922) See more »

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Worth seeing for Domingo and Verrett...
12 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Samson Et Dalila is not quite one of my favourites, but it is a very good opera, wonderful music especially Dalila's Mon Coeur Ta S'Ouevre Voix and the Bacchanal. This SF production is very good, and preferable to the decent performance with Domingo and Borodina.

I do think however the chorus are sometimes rather sloppy, I am not sure whether it was because they were trying to catch up with Julius Rudel's tempos but there are times such as in act 1 where their singing is well balanced and pitched if behind the beat and unrhythmic.

Rudel in general does do a solid job conducting, but particularly at the start he does take things a little too fast. Acts 2 and 3 shows him relaxing more and it is all perfect from there.

With all this said, the orchestra consistently are wonderful, and the costume and set design are terrific. The video directing is interesting, and the sound and picture quality hold up very well.

The performances are wonderful. Of the support cast, Wolfgang Brendel comes off best, but at the end of the day it is the wonderful Placido Domingo and the late great Shirley Verrett that make this work. Domingo is throughout very powerful, see him at the beginning of act 3 for instance. Verrett's charm and luscious mezzo are put to ideal use, and she brings the house down with Mon Coeur Ta S'Ouvre Voix, beautiful phrasing and great control of the speed. Together they are scintillating.

All in all, a very good production with the two leads standing out. 8/10 Bethany Cox


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