The same production as 1996 and Agnes Baltsa is older, but it was great enjoyment. My personal view of Samson makes Jose Carreras my favorite Samson, but I admit that Jose Cura is not bad. (I like Carreras' more spiritual Samson, Cura was more the physical strong Samson), One witness a near operatic disaster in Act 1, Cura loses track, and his big voice makes it so obvious. But Cura is a professional artist he gets on track. Zancanaro is not better than in 1996, but he is good.
Samson et Dalila with Jose Cura, Agnes Baltsa & Giorgio Zancanaro

It is the same production that I saw in 1996 with Carreras as Samson, Baltsa as Dalila, and Giorgio Zancanaro as Grand Pretre de Dagon. And naturally I wondered about how would Cura do against the comparison of Carreras. Already as we first see Cura, difference is great. Cura is coming, the muscle-man, trying to convince the people as with force. When Carreras came, it was the as a prophete, a Man of God, with spiritual means to convince the people.  Samson was a womanizer (read the Bible) so Cura is doing it right in act 1 when Dalila is singing and he is trying to look at all the women on the stage. Carreras (Samson) saw only Dalila (Baltsa).

Act 2
The excitement was greater in 1996 (maybe it was age, maybe not). Jose Cura and Agnes Baltsa in the seduction scene, the magnetism was not working...  Carreras/Baltsa in 1996 was magic.

Act 3
"Vois ma misere". Jose Cura was too physically strong to make justice to this scene. Carreras, on the other hand, was heartbroken and the audience felt it, it was making me cry. Cura sang well, but I was indifferent. Cura was almost tossing the boy around on the stage, when a boy guides the blinded Samson. One never felt that this Samson had lost any strength. With Carreras we all knew it was God's hand that destroyed the Hall with all the Philistines and Samson and Dalila.
2000-06-10 Samson et Dalila (C. Saint-Saëns), Opernhaus Zurich

Dalila = Agnes Baltsa
Samson = José Cura
Le Grand-Prêtre de Dagon = Giorgio Zancanaro
Abimelech = Guido Götzen
Un vieillard hebreu = Giuseppe Scorsin
Un messager philistin = Matthias Aeberhard
Premier philistin = Miroslav Christoff
Second philistin = Werner Gröschel
Un enfant = Joêl Bourgeois

Jacques Delacôte, conductor

Inszenierung - Grischa Asagaroff
Bühnenbild - Marouan Dib
Kostüme - An Skalicky
Lichtgestaltung' - Robertus Cremer
Chor - Jürg Hämmerli
Choreographie - Bernd R. Bienert
This page was last updated: June 20, 2022