By Logan Martell
On January 20, 2023, Seattle Opera will present Saint-Saens’ “Samson and Delilah” for the first time since 1965.
This concert staging will feature acclaimed artists tenor Yonghoon Lee and mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges in the title roles, with both making their company debuts.
Seattle Symphony Conductor Emeritus Ludovic Morlot leads a cast including 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, with the 52-member Seattle Opera Chorus prepared by Chorus Master Michaella Calzaretta.
There will also be a discussion held the day before held by SO scholar-in-residence Dr. Naomi Andrew, titled “Opera and Imperialism: Saint-Saens’ ‘Samson and Delilah’ and the Representation of the ‘Other.’”
“You come to the opera for exciting music and fantastic singing, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with this event,” said Seattle Opera General Director Christina Scheppelmann in an official press statement issued by the company. “The piece is so grand in scope, and yet it contains some of the most beautiful and sensual music in all of opera. It’s a real showpiece for all the splendid musical talent we have on display.”