Paperback Opera: Samson et Dalila GA 1946

Artist José Luccioni / Hélène Bouvier / Paul Cabanel / Charles Cambon / Henri Médus / Orchestre National de l´Opéra de Paris / Louis Fourestier
Title Paperback Opera: Samson et Dalila GA 1946
Release Date Thursday, June 17, 2010
Genre Classical > Opera
Composers Camille Saint-Saëns, Camille Saint - Saens
Songwriter Camille Saint-Saëns
Copyright © Preiser Records

Promotion Text

Paperback Opera

Act I. After a prelude (during which we hear from behind the curtain a chorus of Hebrews praying for liberation from the bonds of the Philistines) the curtain rises upon the oppression of the Hebrews by the Philistines. Samson the hero of the Hebrews leads an insurrection and slays Abimelech. Despite the awful curses of the high priest of Baal, the Hebrews are victorious, and the Philistines are unable to withstand their onslaughts. The Hebrews rejoice and praise God for his aid. Just at that moment the Philistine maidens headed by Dalila emerge garlanded with flowers. Dalila knows of a more powerful weapon than the sword. An old Hebrew warns Samson against her, but Samson when his eyes are fixed on the beautiful young Philistine maiden is deaf to anything but the honeyed accents that fall from her lips. Act II. Dalila awaits Samson in her dwelling in a lonely valley. To her comes the High Priest of the Philistines. He exhorts her to revenge the Philistines’ defeat upon Samson. There is a terrible thunderstorm, the lightning flashes and the thunder roars and as the storm passes on leaving the air sweet and fresh with the fallen rain, Samson comes to her. After long and assiduous endearment, the enchantress entices Samson within the dwelling. For a time the stage remains empty; then Dalila appears dramatically at the door. In her hand she holds Samson’s hair, which she has shorn from the hero’s head. Wildly exultant, she summons the waiting Philistines, who rush in and quickly overwhelm and capture Samson. Act III. Scene 1. Samson is a prisoner. The Philistines have put out his eves and have chained him to the mill. But they have forgotten one thing; during his captivity his hair has grown again. The Philistines mock him in his impotent anger. Scene 2. The Great Temple. The high Priest and Dalila are conducting a great service before the altar of their gods. Samson is brought in as an object of mockery and a symbol of their triumph over the Hebrews. The orgy of exultation works up to a great climax. Samson is temporarily forgotten. He persuades the boy who leads him to bring him to the twin pillars which uphold the vast roof of the Temple. His slow and halting progress is unnoticed until at last he stands directly between the pillars. Bidding the boy to run away, Samson places a hand against each pillar. Suddenly he exerts to the full the strength that has returned to him. There is a terrible rending sound. The pillars collapse and the roof of the temple falls, crushing the Philistines.