[Met Performance] CID:201590
Samson et Dalila {116} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/17/1965.

(Debut: Elena Cernei
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 17, 1965


SAMSON ET DALILA {116}

Samson..................Jon Vickers
Dalila..................Elena Cernei [Debut]
High Priest.............William Walker
Abimélech...............Justino Díaz
Old Hebrew..............Bonaldo Giaiotti
Philistine..............Gabor Carelli
Philistine..............Robert Goodloe
Messenger...............Robert Nagy
Dance...................Edith Jerell

Conductor...............Fausto Cleva

Review of Irving Kolodin in the April 3, 1965 issue of the Saturday Review

The revolving personnel of the Met revolving repertory brought with it, during the week, a new Dalila and Amneris from Rumania named Elena Cernei. Her prominent assets are a sound of an appealing, dusky quality through its midrange and a bright, expanding top, plus sufficient youthfulness to make a plausible figure of her Dalila, even an attractive one of her Amneris. She does not have the solidity at the bottom to make it audible in such a big theater as the Metropolitan, nor is she as yet as assured, dramatically, as one would like to see on this stage. But her merits are sufficient to warrant further attention.

In this hearing of Saint-Säens's score, Jon Vickers made a striking figure of Samson and performed better, vocally, than he has in a non-German work previously. Both the style and the vocal layout of the part suit him, and he made an especial effect with the pealing pronouncement at the climax of Act II. William Walker was the High Priest. However, the French style in this production has virtually vanished with the replacement, as conductor, of Georges Prêtre with Fausto Cleva.



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