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Samson Et Dalila (2010)

 NR |  DVD
2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Samson Et Dalila + Catan: Il Postino (LA Opera) + Puccini: Tosca (Royal Opera House 2011)
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Korean
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthaus Musik
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008P76XQU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,183 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

In Saint- Saens' saga of hatred and holy war, power and desire, there is no victor and no truth. The god-like is diminished, power restricted, taboos broken, love betrayed. The story of Samson is contradictory and human, overwhelming in its scale, violence, and pathos. Once a struggle for the composer to have performed, the work has become a cornerstone of the performance repertoire and a showpiece for many great singers. Argentinean tenor Jos+ª Cura is one such singer, whose deep affinity for the work is revealed in his roles as hero, director, and stage designer.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
(5)
2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Music, Horrible Production October 23, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The music on this DVD is absolutely beautiful. Every singer is excellent, the orchestra and chorus are wonderful, as is the conducting. If I had a CD of the performance I would be in bliss. Unfortunately, the director made some choices that for me at least erased all meaning for the drama. The sets are dark, ugly and awkward. It's hard to know how the acting was because the action itself was unclear. Who is Samson, other than the tenor? If this is to make any sense, he is a hero. But that is unclear. He doesn't even seem like a leader. And what is this unspecified adolescent guy doing wandering around the set? What are these oil derricks doing and why are they being used by these guys in military uniforms to shine spotlights on these people, who I gather are the Hebrews. And what is this scuffle, and why did that old guy die and in general what is going on here? The less said about the invasion of the quasi-lesbian women in white robes, who spent as much time pawing each other as supposedly seducing the "Hebrews", the better. Ditto all the women crawling all over each other in Dalila's boudoir. (And what is that giant shape behind her, for goodness sake? Is that Samson the giant or is it her god or what on earth?) And that's just the beginning. Absolutely glorious music! Some of the chorus pieces sound like an oratorio. If I can find a DVD of a production that treats the story and the characters with more respect, I'll go for it. But having been burned here with this one, I may just stick to CDs. Look at the cover. Says it all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, curious recording September 19, 2012
Format:DVD
The question of whether Samson et Dalila might not be better suited to the setting of an oratorio than an opera has been a problematic issue ever since Saint-SaŽns started work on it back in 1867, ten years before its first performance. With its biblical subject and choral emphasis, the original intention of the composer himself was that it should be an oratorio, but he was persuaded by the librettist Ferdinand Lemaire to turn it into an opera. The reality is that the completed work lies somewhere between opera and oratorio, omitting a great deal of the dramatic episodes that occur in the story of Samson and Delilah, while even some of the most famous and well-known scenes occur off-stage. In an attempt to make the function better as a drama, Argentinean tenor and stage director José Cura injects some contemporary references into his 2010 production of the work for Badisches Staatsoper, but while the quality of the work and its performance here are pretty much beyond reproach, the question of the work's nature and its suitability for the stage remains unresolved as far as this production is concerned.

Designed and directed by Cura himself, it's not a terribly imaginative production. The concessions towards modern relevance and contemporary allusion are half-hearted and heavy-handed, not really going much further than relating the enslavement of the Hebrew people and conflict in the Middle East to the corporate ambitions of oil companies in the region by setting a few oil-rigs on the stage.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, Amazon wake up! March 20, 2013
Format:DVD
The video pictured at the top of this page features Jose Cura as Samson. Most (but not all) of these reviews, however, discuss a different performance which features Domingo as Samson. There have been similar confusions at Amazon in the past: when Giergev's recent Die Walkure cd set was listed for pre-order but had not yet been released, many reviews were listed for a 30 year old version conducted by Boulez.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clarification September 26, 2012
Format:DVD
Keris Nine review, is altogether a very positive one that I share, even considering irrelevant comments such us Dalila's anachronistic dressing. Dalila is a priestess and as such she dresses (within the limits of the designer's fantasy, of course). No point has to be made on this as a "mistake". Just see how priests of almost all religions dress even today, in the XXI century.

One thing however cannot be accepted in Keris Nine review, and it should be immediately removed from the text with an ERRATA CORRIGE NOTE of apology, and is the accusation of this DVD being a NON LIVE recording. I quote Keris Nine: "... it's clearly filmed without an audience present... " The film was done during an ordinary performance (dates are mentioned in the DVD, by the way), with the cameras placed among the audience, as every other LIVE opera recording. The only difference is that the audience or the theatre's building can't be seen (neither the wings nor the pit). This simple but new approach in operatic live filming, resulted in the more cinematographic look that has mislead Keris Nine. Altogether, this mistaken comment can be considered a positive thing for the viewer: the fact that, even watching an opera, you will be carried away from the "theatre's building restriction" and taken to an almost movie-like experience.

A great production, properly filmed and superbly sang. A must have, considering the poor number of existing versions of this epic opera.
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