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Opera Abbreviated Podcast: 'Samson et Dalila'

Ken Howard
Metropolitan Opera
Elina Garanca plays Dalila in Samson et Dalila.

Bring on the dancing. The Metropolitan Opera has a hot new production of Camille Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila (Samson and Delilah) complete with bacchanal.

See it live in HD from the Met in a movie theater near you (I'll be at Crosswoods in Columbus, in case you want to share popcorn) at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanca sing the title roles.

Saint-Saens hoped the great mezzo Pauline Viardot would be his first Dalila. She said she was too old!

The opera got off to a slow start after its premiere in an unlikely place – for a French opera – Weimar, Germany, where Franz Liszt sponsored the production.

Eventually Saint-Saens' opera on the Samson in the Old Testament Book of Judges garnered international audiences in Paris, Vienna, Milan, London and New York.

The opera calls for the tenore di forza and the contralto, plus a huge chorus, a ballet and a leading baritone.

Come join the bacchanal, live in HD from the Met on Oct. 20.

Christopher Purdy is Classical 101's early morning host, 7-10 a.m. weekdays. He is host and producer of Front Row Center – Classical 101’s weekly celebration of Opera and more – as well as Music in Mid-Ohio, Concerts at Ohio State, and the Columbus Symphony broadcast series. He is the regular pre-concert speaker for Columbus Symphony performances in the Ohio Theater.