A story of Biblical origin and Biblical proportions, Samson & Dalila brings lust and betrayal to the Winspear Opera stage. Camille Saint-Saëns’ glorious nineteenth-century grand opera opening October 20 will hold five performances in its native French libretto with English translations projected above the stage at every performance. Tickets start at just $19, available to purchase here, or a lucky few young professionals can purchase best-seat tickets here for just $50 (a $300+ value)!
Evening performances begin at 7:30 pm, and the curtain rises on our Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m. There is absolutely no late seating, so get there with plenty of time to spare!
Samson is the only hope of his people, the Hebrews, in the oppressive grip of the Philistines. Enter Dalila, the calculating seductress capable of capturing men’s hearts with ease. Her temptation of Samson continues until she gets what she wants: the secret of his strength. Camille Saint-Saëns’ opera builds to the familiar, spectacular climax, taken straight from the Book of Judges in this libretto by Ferdinand Lemaire.
Dramatic tenor Clifton Forbis has sung some of the most challenging roles in the operatic repertoire. He has mesmerized Dallas Opera audiences as Siegmund in Die Walküre, as well as a “forceful and manly” Tristan. Samson is a signature role for Mr. Forbis, who has performed this part at Bilbao, San Francisco Opera and New York’s Metropolitan Opera. He was last seen on The Dallas Opera stage in 2012’s groundbreaking production of Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, directed by Christian Räth, after inaugurating Dallas Opera productions in the Winspear Opera House in October of 2009 in the title role of Otello.
He will star opposite the legendary Russian mezzo-soprano, Olga Borodina, who came to prominence in the West in 1992 when she starred opposite Plácido Domingo in Samson at London’s Covent Garden. This Grammy Award-winner is considered the ultimate Dalila of her generation, according to London-based critic Rupert Christiansen of The Telegraph.
Music Director Emmanuel Villaume (The Mrs. Eugene McDermott Music Director) will conduct the renowned Dallas Opera Orchestra in “one of the brightest jewels of French opera.”
The Samson & Dalila performance on Wednesday, October 25th will be conducted by special guest Pierre Vallet, in his Dallas Opera debut.
The opera will be staged by internationally acclaimed German director Bruno Berger-Gorski in his TDO debut. He has been described as “the only active German opera director who has staged operas on four continents”—including more than a hundred from the standard repertoire.
Other members of this cast include Grammy-winning baritone Richard Paul Fink as the High Priest of Dagon, baritone Michael Chioldi in his TDO debut as Abimélech (the Philistine provincial governor), and bass-baritone Ryan Kuster as the Old Hebrew.
The sets were designed by Peter Dean Beck for Pittsburgh Opera. Carrie Robbins designed the costumes for San Francisco Opera. Both will be making their house debuts. Lighting design is by Allen Burrett and choreography by Nycole Ray, artistic director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!, in her Dallas Opera debut.
As always, chorus preparation is by Dallas Opera Chorus Master Alexander Rom.