SAMSON ET DALILA - Opera in three acts by Camille Saint-Saëns

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December 2021
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OPERA IN THREE ACTS (1877/1892)

MUSIC OF

Camille Saint-Saëns

TEXT BY

Ferdinand Lemaire

Enmity, hatred and war of faith, power, powerlessness and desire: In the Hebrews' struggle for freedom, Samson, as a devotee of God, raises his voice against the hostile Philistines. Samson seems invincible until his love for the Philistine Dalila makes him vulnerable. She knows the secret of his extraordinary power. The loss of one's identity is at stake. The race against time begins.

The literary model for Ferdinand Lemaire's libretto is the Book of Judges from the Old Testament, which tells of the oppression of the people of Israel in the Palestinian Gaza. The opera, which premiered in Weimar in 1877 under the direction of Franz Liszt, is one of the most popular operas of the Romantic era in French with its lyrical descriptions of the state and the large choral tableaus. Despite the successful premiere, in a German translation, Saint-Saëns achieved his breakthrough with “Samson et Dalila” only in 1890 in a roundabout way in his native France. The work will be re-staged by the Argentinian film director and screenwriter Damián Szifron, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2015 for his film "Wild Tales - Everybody Goes Through". Damián Szifron will make his operatic debut at the State Opera Unter den Linden with “Samson et Dalila” in the 2019/20 season.

Program and cast

OCCUPATION
MUSICAL DIRECTION
Daniel Barenboim
STAGING
Damián Szifron
STAGE DESIGN
Étienne Pluss
COSTUMES
Gesine Völlm
LIGHT
Olaf Freese
VIDEO
Judith Selenko
CHOREOGRAPHY
Tomasz Kajdański
DALILA
Elīna Garanča
SAMSON
Andreas Schager
HIGH PRIEST OF THE DAGON
Michael Volle
ABIMÉLECH
Jongmin Park
AN OLD HEBREW
Paul Gay
FIRST PHILISTER
Magnus Dietrich
SECOND PHILISTER
Benjamin Chamandy
STATE OPERA CHOIR
STATE CHAPEL BERLIN

State Opera Unter den Linden

Die Staatsoper Unter den Linden (ehemals: Königliche Oper, ab 1919: Preußische Staatsoper, ab 1955: Deutsche Staatsoper, umgangssprachlich: Lindenoper) ist ein Opernhaus an der Prachtstraße Unter den Linden 7 im Berliner Ortsteil Mitte. Im Auftrag Friedrichs II. in den Jahren 1741–1743 von Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff im Stil des Friderizianischen Rokoko errichtet, wurde sie nach der Zerstörung im Zweiten Weltkrieg als Teil des Forum Fridericianum 1951–1955 von Richard Paulick wiederaufgebaut. Sie ist das älteste Opernhaus Berlins und das „erste bedeutende Theater überhaupt, das als monumentales, frei stehendes Bauwerk in einer Stadt errichtet wurde“.[1]

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