Staged by the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp in 2009, Saint-Saëns's Samson and Delilah—a story of doomed love set against the backdrop of cultural conflict between Hebrews and Philistines—is relocated to the contemporary Middle East. Directors Omri Nitzan and Amir Nizar Zuabi explore the tensions between different nations and religions, and the complex oppressor-oppressed relationship. "We tried to move away from the quasi-biblical interpretation,” say Nitzan and Zuabi, “and to place the story in today's world to explain its political aspects better.... Acts of terror by a state will lead to acts of terror against a state, which in turn will lead to more terror by the state and this completes the vicious circle."
Backed by the Symphony Orchestra and Choir of Vlaamse Opera under the baton of Czech conductor Tomáš Netopil, young German tenor Torsten Kerl plays the Samson to Russian mezzo-soprano Marianna Tarasova’s Delilah. The music’s kaleidoscopic colours are evoked with sensitivity and lyricism by the orchestra and singers, unfolding the dramatic story in all its tragic beauty.
Samson and Delilah was originally intended to be an oratorio, but as his ideas developed, Saint-Saëns was persuaded to turn it into an opera. In 1877, Franz Liszt arranged for its world premiere in Weimar, Germany. In 1892 it made its way to the Paris Opera, where it was played more than five hundred times over the next thirty years.
La Fura dels Baus (stage direction), Sylvain Cambreling (music director) – Vesselina Kasarova (Marguerite), Paul Groves (Faust), Willard White (Méphistophé...
Robert Wilson (stage director), Philippe Jordan (music director) – With Stéphane Degout (Pelléas), Elena Tsallagova (Mélisande), Anne Sofie von Otter (Gene...
Benoît Jacquot (stage director), Michel Plasson (conductor) – With Jonas Kaufmann (Werther), Sophie Koch (Charlotte)
2003 St. Petersburg Gala, celebrating the 300th anniversary of the city
Verbier Festival 2012