Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

This page lists all recordings of Samson et Dalila, by Charles Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) on CD, DVD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.

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Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


José Cura (Samson), Olga Borodina (Dalila), Egils Silins (Abimelech), Jean-Philippe Lafont (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Robert Lloyd (Un Vieillard hébreu)

London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Sir Colin Davis

“Colin Davis treats this opera with the reverence that it deserves and inspires magnificent performances from José Cura and Olga Borodina in the title roles, with sterling support from Egils Silins, Jean-Philippe Lafont, and Robert Lloyd in the smaller roles. The London Symphony Orchestra plays with suitably wanton abandon in the Act Three Bacchanale.” James Longstaffe, Presto Classical

Presto Favourites

Recommended Recording

Warner Classics - The Opera Collection - 2564674976

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.75

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Recorded live at the Vlaamse Opera Antwerpen/Gent, 2009


Torsten Kerl (Samson), Marianna Tarasova (Dalila), Nikola Mijailovic (High Priest), Gijs Van der Linden (Old Hebrew)

Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of the Flanders Opera, Tomáš Netopil (conductor) & Omri Nitzan and Amir Nizar Zuabi (directors)

Using the example of the impossible love between the Jew Samson and the Philistine Dalila, Camille Saint-Saëns shows the deadly conflict between two hostile cultures and religions.

Staged by the Flanders Opera Company in Antwerp in 2009, Saint-Saëns’ opera Samson et Dalila is re-located in this production to the contemporary Middle East. The two directors, Israeli Omri Nitzan and Palestinian Amir Nizar Zuabi, explore the tensions between different nations and religions, and the complex relationship between the oppressors and the oppressed. ‘In our approach to this opera we tried to move away from the quasi-biblical interpretation, and to place the story in today’s world to explain its political aspects better,’ say the two directors. ‘Acts of terror by a state will lead to acts of terror against a state, which in turn will lead to more terror by the state and this completes the vicious circle.’

Performed by the Symphonic Orchestra and Choir of Vlaamse Opera Antwerp/Gent under the baton of Czech conductor Tomáš Netopil, Samson is sung by the young German tenor Torsten Kerl and Dalila by the Russian mezzo-soprano Marianna Tarasova. The kaleidoscopic colours of the music are brought out with sensitivity and lyricism by the orchestra and singers, unfolding the dramatic story in all its tragic beauty.

With this production the intendant, Aviel Cahn, hopes to elucidate the future course he intends to follow with the Flanders Opera: bringing opera to today’s people. Samson and Dalila promises to be a production that no serious opera connoisseur would want to miss.

Bonus: The Making of Samson et Dalila - including interviews with the production team and Torsten Kerl

Picture format: NTSC - 16:9

Sounds formats: PCM Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1

Region code: 0

Booklet notes: English, German, French

Subtitles: French, English, German, Dutch

Running time: 122 mins (+ Bonus 16 mins)

“Torsten Kerl's timbre suits Samson musically and textually...Kerl is massively built, but he's unafraid of movement and mantains a sympathetic presence.” International Record Review, July/August 2011

“Set in Gaza, Samson et Dalila is ripe for a modern update, especially when jointly directed by an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian...[they] have swapped the role of the Jews from occupied to occupying force...[Kerl's] clarion Wagnerian tenor rings out gloriously...there’s a sincerity and simplicity in his approach which works rather well. Tomas Netopil leads the performance...with plenty of orchestral muscle and vivid excitement in the orgiastic ‘Bacchanale’.” Opera Britannia, 30th June 2011 ****

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: NTSC

Arthaus and Euroarts Sale - up to 60% off

EuroArts - 2058628

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.25

Special: $19.77

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


James King (Samson), Christa Ludwig (Dalila), Bernd Weikl (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Alexander Malta (Abimélech), Richard Kogel (Le Vieillard Hébreu)

Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks Münchner Rundfunk-Orchester, Giuseppe Patanè

Saint-Saëns originally intended writing an oratorio based on the legend of Samson and Delilah in 1859 and this developed into what became his second opera. Of his small operatic output Samson et Dalila, based on the Book of Judges, is the only one to have secured a firm place in the opera repertory today.

Release includes a booklet with a three language synopsis [English / French / German], full cast list and detailed track list.

Recorded in 1973

“Not the most idiomatic of recordings but there's some classy singing here, though one would have liked Ludwig to take a few more risks. Patanè presides over everything with passion.” Gramophone Classical Music Guide, 2010

RCA - The Sony Opera House - 88697451182

(CD - 2 discs)

$14.00

(Sorry, download not available in your country)

In stock - usually despatched within 1 working day.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Rita Gorr (Dalila), Jon Vickers (Samson), Ernest Blanc (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Anton Diakov (Abimelech & Un vieillard hébreu), Rémy Corazza (Un messager), Jacques Potier (Premier Philistin) & Ean-Pierre Hurteau (Deuxième Philistin)

Chœurs René Duclos & Orchestre du Théâtre National de l’Opéra de Paris, Georges Prêtre

The full grandeur, passion and nobility of Saint-Saëns’ biblical drama is embodied in the interpretations of two supreme singers of their era, Jon Vickers and Rita Gorr – as remarkable for their powerful personalities as for their vocal splendour – and of conductor Georges Prêtre. Idiomatic style is further guaranteed by Ernest Blanc as the High Priest of Dagon, the orchestra of the Paris Opéra and, as both oppressed Hebrews and exultant Philistines, the Chœurs René Duclos.

Released or re-released in last 6 months

Erato - The Home of Opera - 9029586904

(CD - 2 discs)

$13.25

Scheduled for release on 12 May 2017. Order it now and we will deliver it as soon as it is available.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Jon Vickers (Samson), Oralia Dominguez (Dalila), Ernest Blanc (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Henk Driessen (Abimélech), Peter van der Bilt (Le Vieillard Hébreu), Fred Bongers (Le messager philistin), Bert van't Hof (Premier philistin), Aad de Rijk (Deuxième philistin)

Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Groot Omroepkoor, Jean Fournet

1964

Opera dOro Grand Tier - OPD7028

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Richard Cassilly (Samson), Shirley Verrett (Dalila), Robert Massard (Le Grand Prêtre de Dagon), Giovanni Foiani (Abimélech), Leonardo Monreale (Le Vieillard Hébreu), Piero De Palma (Le messager philistin), Gianfranco Manganotti (Premier philistin), Silvio Maionica (Deuxième philistin)

Orchestra e Coro dell Teatro alla Scala, Georges Prêtre

Opera dOro - OPD1175

Download only from $20.00

Available now to download.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Jon Vickers, Oralia Dominquez, Ernest Blanc

Jean Fournet

Opera dOro - OPD1405

(CD - 2 discs)

$11.25

(also available to download from $20.00)

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days. (Available now to download.)

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Live Recording from The Badisches Staatstheater, 2010


José Cura (Samson), Julia Gertseva (Dalila) & Stefan Stoll (The High Priest of Dagon)

Orchestra and Choir of The Badisches Staatstheater, Jochem Hochstenbach (conductor) & José Cura (stage director)

Set Design by JOSÉ CURA

In this saga of hatred and holy war, of power and desire, there is no victor and no truth. The god-like is diminished, power restricted, taboos are broken, love betrayed. Only the composer can afford uninterrupted pathos in the wonderful duet of Samson and Dalila in the second act, which misleads us to believe in a moving story of love. Perhaps it truly is. The story of Samson is contradictory, it is human. Camille Saint-Saëns completed the work in 1876, but was only able to bring about its first performance in 1877 through the mediation of his friend Franz Liszt – with pre-eminent success – in Weimar. In France, where the elements of oratorio and the influence of Wagner were not well received, the first performance would not follow for another 13 years. Samson et Dalila ranks among the masterpieces of 19th century French Opera - and among the showpieces favored by the Argentine tenor José Cura. In the recorded production he saw himself celebrated on stage as a unified three-in-one: eponymous hero, director and stage designer.

Sound Format: PCM Stereo, DD 5.1

Picture Format: 16:9

DVD Format: DVD 9, NTSC

Subtitle Languages: FR (Original Language), GB, DE, ES, IT, Korean

Running Time: 125 mins

FSK: 12

DVD Video

Region: 0

Format: Hybrid-M

Arthaus and Euroarts Sale - up to 60% off

Arthaus Musik - 101631

(DVD Video)

Normally: $28.25

Special: $21.18

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Placido Domingo (Samson), Waltraud Meier (Dalila), Alain Fondary (High Priest of Dagon), Jean-Philippe Courtis (Abimelech), Samuel Ramey (An Old Hebrew)

Orchestra & Chorus of the Opera Bastille, Myung-Whun Chung

Recorded in 1991

“When the big melody appears in Dalila's seduction aria, Chung's idiomatic conducting encourages a tender restraint, where others produce a full-throated roar. Meier may not have an ideally sensuous voice for the role...but her feeling for words is strong and the characterization vivid.” Penguin Guide, 2010 edition ****

Warner Classics - The Opera Series - 0881982

(CD - 2 discs)

$15.50

(also available to download from $15.00)

Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days. (Available now to download.)

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila

Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila


Rise Stevens (Dalila), RamónVinay (Samson), Sigurd Björling (High Priest), Norman Scott (Abimélech), Luben Vichey (old Hebrew), Emery Darcy, Paul Franke & George Cehanovsky

Orchestra & Chorus of the Met, New York, Fausto Cleva

Walhall - WLCD0292

(CD - 2 discs)

$12.50

Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.

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