[Met Performance] CID:120060
New production
Samson et Dalila {59} Matinee Broadcast ed. Metropolitan Opera House: 12/26/1936., Broadcast

(Debuts: Maurice Abravanel, Herbert Graf, Koeck-Meyer Studios, Irene Sharaff
Broadcast
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 26, 1936 Matinee Broadcast

New production

SAMSON ET DALILA {59}
Saint-Saëns-Lemaire

Samson..................René Maison
Dalila..................Gertrud Wettergren
High Priest.............Ezio Pinza
Abimélech...............John Gurney
Old Hebrew..............Emanuel List
Philistine..............Max Altglass
Philistine..............Wilfred Engelman
Messenger...............Angelo Badà
Dance...................Daphne Vane

Conductor...............Maurice Abravanel [Debut]

Director................Herbert Graf [Debut]
Set designer............Koeck-Meyer Studios [Debut]
Costume designer........Irene Sharaff [Debut]
Choreographer...........George Balanchine

[Irene Sharaff designed only the ballet costumes.
During his two seasons with the company, Maestro Abravanel was listed as Maurice De Abravanel.]

Samson et Dalila received six performances this season.

Review by W.J. Henderson in the New York Sun:

Camille Saint-Saen's unholy Biblical opera, "Samson et Dalila", was restored yesterday afternoon to the Metropolitan Opera House stage, where it had not been exhibited since 1925. The revival interested a large audience. The work has bee restudied under a [new] conductor, Maurice de Abravanel, and staged by Dr. Herbert Graf, also new to the Metropolitan. There was also new scenery and much benefit derived from the improved lighting facilities of the theater.

"Samson et Dalila" comes close to being a static opera. There is little action, but scope for spectacular splendors. A retrospective consideration of [Saturday's] production reproduces a strong impression of an effective ensemble, reaching through animated musical direction and stage management showing experience in ordering action and in the arrangement of groups and tableaux. Messrs. Abravanel and Graf have succeeded in putting as much new life as possible into a work of discouraging inertia. When they cooperate in the handling of material possessing more vitality, they will probably have even greater success.


Available for streaming at Met Opera on Demand
Rebroadcast on Sirius Metropolitan Opera Radio


Photographs of Rene Maison, Gertrud Wettergren, and Maurice Abravanel by Wide World Studio.



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