MET OPERA RADIO BROADCAST- Samson et Delila March 23rd on WJOP-LP 96.3 FMMarch 15, 2019
Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila stars
Anita Rachvelishvili and Gregory Kunde
Radio Broadcast: Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m. Eton WJOP-LP 96.3 FM
The 2018-19 Metropolitan Opera Radio Broadcast season continues with Samson et Dalila, Saint-Saëns’s dramatic opera based on the biblical tale of Samson and Delilah. Mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili and tenor Gregory Kunde star as the Philistine seductress and the Hebrew leader whose love and strength she betrays. Bass-baritone Laurent Naouri is the High Priest of Dagon, bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny is the Philistine commander Abimélech, and bass Günther Groissböck is the Old Hebrew. Sir Mark Elder conducts the Met orchestra and chorus in the new production by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak that opened the 2018-19 season. The performance will be heard live over Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network at 1:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 23rd on WJOP-LP 96.3 FM Newburyport.
Anita Rachvelishvili gives her first Met performances as Dalila, having previously sung the role at the Paris Opera and Opéra de Monte-Carlo. Rachvelishvili made her Met debut singing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen in 2011, and reprised the role in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Other Met performances include Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor and Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Earlier this season, she sang Amneris in Verdi’s Aida and the Princess of Bouillon in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, both of which were seen in cinemas around the world as part of the Met’s Live in HD series. In coming months, she reprises Carmen at the Paris Opera, the Princess of Bouillon at the Salzburg Festival, and Amneris in concert performances of Aida with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Gregory Kunde has sung the role of Samson at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and the Teatro Regio in Turin. He sang Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon for his Met debut in 1987, followed by performances as Prince Ramiro in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Arturo in Bellini’s I Puritani. Appearances this season include Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot at Teatro Real in Madrid and Teatro Comunale in Bologna, the title role in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier at Vienna State Opera, and the title role of Verdi’s Otello at Teatro Baluarte in Pamplona, Gran Teatro in Córdoba, and Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
Laurent Naouri has previously sung the High Priest at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. He made his Met debut in 2012 as Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and has since returned as the Four Villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Capulet in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Pandolfe in Massenet’s Cendrillon, which was seen around the world last season as a part of the Met’s Live in HD series. Other engagements this season include Giorgio Germont in Verdi’s La Traviata at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at Finnish National Opera.
Tomasz Konieczny makes his Met role debut as Abimélech, following his recent company debut as Alberich in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, part of Der Ring des Nibelungen. He is also appearing as Alberich in Siegfried and Götterdämmerung as part of the company’s complete Ring cycles this season. Other recent performances include Telramund in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival, Karl in Schubert’s Fierrabras at La Scala, and Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Vienna State Opera. He has also performed Wotan/Wanderer in the Ring cycle in Vienna, where he will appear later this season as George Danton in von Einem’s Dantons Tod.
Günther Groissböck adds a new role to his Met repertory as the Old Hebrew. Previous Met roles include his 2010 company debut as Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème, Baron Ochs in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Banquo in Verdi’s Macbeth, Hermann in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, and Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio. He is also on the Met stage this spring as Fasolt and Hunding in performances of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Other upcoming Wagner roles include Gurnemanz in Parsifal at Deutsche Oper Berlin and Pogner in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Bayreuth Festival. He will reprise Baron Ochs in Der Rosenkavalier during the Met’s 2019-20 season.
Sir Mark Elder previously conducted Samson et Dalila at the Met during the 2000-01 season. He made his Met debut in 1988 leading Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and has also conducted Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Otello, Boito’s Mefistofele, Dvořák’s Rusalka, Tannhäuser, and Madama Butterfly with the company. Maestro Elder has been music director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester since 2000. He was formerly music director of English National Opera and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Conducting engagements include Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dutch National Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, and the Royal Opera, Covent Garden.
The intermissions will include artist interviews and the Toll Brothers-Metropolitan Opera Quiz.