Samson et Dalila

Romantic opera from 1876


Samson and Delilah (French: Samson et Dalila), Op. 47, is a grand opera in three acts and four scenes by Camille Saint-Saëns to a French libretto by Ferdinand Lemaire. It was first performed in Weimar at the Grossherzogliches (Grand Ducal) Theater (now the Staatskapelle Weimar) on 2 December 1877 in a German translation.

The opera is based on the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah found in Chapter 16 of the Book of Judges in the Old Testament. It is the only opera by Saint-Saëns that is regularly performed. The second act love scene in Delilah's tent is one of the set pieces that define French opera. Two of Delilah's arias are particularly well known: "Printemps qui commence" (“Spring begins”) and "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" ("My heart opens itself to your voice", also known as "Softly awakes my heart"), the latter of which is one of the most popular recital pieces in the mezzo-soprano/contralto repertoire.

Year 1876
Opening Night 1877
Time Period Romantic
Opus Op. 47
Instrumentation Opera orchestra, Baritone, Bass, Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Chorus


Saint-Saëns: Samson et Dalila: Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix
This is a performance of "Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix" from Saint-Saëns' Samson et ...
Saint-Saëns: Act II: 'Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix' from Samson et Dalila, Op.47
Each year, the traditional Festive Opera Gala combines real musical delight and the joy of ...
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