Concert performance in three acts, in French, with Hungarian and English surtitles
To this day, Samson et Delila has proved its lasting power, together with Faust and Carmen, as one of the most popular French operas. Nearly 150 years after its world premiere, this biblically themed work flowing with sensuality that the Scriptures would in all certainty condemn still has a special magic. And the subject does indeed come from the Scriptures: using the Book of Judges from the Old Testament as his source, Ferdinand Lemaire wrote a stage play about Delila’s seduction of Samson, conducted with the sole purpose of learning the secret of his strength. Composer Camille Saint-Saëns brought to life monumental oratorio-like frescos with shadings of Gounod and Meyerbeer, along with further hues, in certain places, of nearly Wagnerian sensuality to depict Delila’s wild enticements. Coming to life in scenes of surging force is an irresistible mixture of religion and seduction.