[Met Performance] CID:227870
Samson et Dalila {133} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/15/1971.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 15, 1971


SAMSON ET DALILA {133}

Samson..................Richard Tucker
Dalila..................Grace Bumbry
High Priest.............Gabriel Bacquier
Abimélech...............Paul Plishka
Old Hebrew..............John Macurdy
Philistine..............Robert Schmorr
Philistine..............Robert Goodloe
Messenger...............Charles Anthony
Dance...................Jacques Cesbron
Dance...................Diana Levy

Conductor...............Serge Baudo

Review of George Movshon in Opera (UK)

Six seasons have passed since "Samson et Dalila" was last given at the Metropolitan, but it would be misleading to suggest that audiences have clamoured for it. Saint-Saens was not a man of the theatre, and the score underlines that fact. Apart from three languorous arias for Delilah and a few rousing moments for her duped boy-friend, expectations are engaged only for a bacchanale given full erotic value - which it isn't at the Met - and for a satisfactory moment of release when the roof falls in and everybody goes home.

With that much given, the performance of December 15 turned out (after a soggy first act) to be moderately enjoyable. Grace Bumbry, looking convincingly seductive as the temptress, moved and sang with silken sensuousness. There is a gleam in her voice in its top register and a warm richness in the low notes that make her an ideal Delilah. Richard Tucker (now in his 26th Met season and still going strong) has the right metal for Samson's music, even if his smiting technique with the jawbone could stand a little polishing. He sings the lines cleanly, without resorting to the mannerisms that mar his work on some occasions: this is certainly one of his best roles. Gabriel Bacquier was unsurpassable as the High Priest; there was a sonorous Abimelcch from Paul Plishka, and a robustly sung Old Hebrew from John Macurdy. Serge Baudo was the conductor, beating the first act in a flaccid manner but improving considerably thereafter.



Added Index Entries for Subjects and Names


Back to short citation(s).