For the first time since 1965, Seattle Opera presents Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Samson and Delilah” in two performances, Jan. 20 and Jan. 22, at McCaw Hall (321 Mercer St).
This is presented in a new concert format with on-stage orchestra and chorus and features some of classical music’s most iconic melodies, from the “Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix” to the Act III Bacchanale.
Headlining the performances are two world-renowned singers making their Seattle Opera debuts. Appearing as Delilah is Grammy Award-winning Tacoma native J’Nai Bridges.
Playing opposite Bridges is Yonghoon Lee, widely regarded as one of the world’s best lyric tenors, making his role debut as Samson.
At the helm is Seattle Symphony Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot, who has championed French music for Seattle audiences since his arrival in the city in 2011. Rounding out the cast are Seattle favorite Greer Grimsley as the High Priest of Dagon, Andrew Potter as Abimelech, John Marzano as the Philistine Messenger, and Daniel Sumegi as the Old Hebrew.
Also featured is the 52-member Seattle Opera chorus, prepared by Chorus Master Michaella Calzaretta.
Visit seattleopera.org for more information.
Finally, audiences will have the chance to deepen their knowledge of this fascinating work with an “Opera Talk” by Seattle Opera scholar-in-residence Dr. Naomi André, who will present Opera and Imperialism: Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah and the Representation of the ‘Other’ at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 at Tagney Jones Hall.
Opera Talk explores issues of orientalism, cultural representation and musical exoticism in opera. Info and RSVP at seattleopera.org/operaimperialism.