The Camille Saint-Saëns’ masterpiece, Samson and Delilah is returning to Monaco for the first time in 40 years. Jean-Louis Grinda is producing the piece, which will be held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Starring in this operatic rendition of the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah are Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko and Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili. Their enchanting voices are accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Kazuki Yamada, the Monte-Carlo Opera Chorus and the Shanghai Opera House Dance Ensemble.
Among the many festivities and celebrations that comprised Monaco’s National Holiday this past Monday, the performance of “Samson and Delilah” at the Grimaldi Forum garnered particular appreciation. Prince Albert II, his wife, Princess Charlene and sister, Princess Stephanie, were on site to enjoy the mesmerizing voice of Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvilli, and the ensemble of artists who made the performance a hit.
Powerful performances and masterful direction
Rachvelishvilli brings her striking precision and passion to her performance as Delilah. As the piece’s only female voice, she appears to inhabit the character fully and without restraint. Her Samson, Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko, is the other soloist of this story from the Bible. His power and presence provide an impressive counterpart to the Georgian femme fatale. The music is delivered by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic with conductor Kazuki Yamada at the helm. André Heyboer, Julien Béronèse, and Nicolas Courjal fill out the cast, and the chorus is led by Stefano Visconti.
Jean-Louis Grinda’s staging is energetic and captivating. The stage designer did not shy away from modernizing the piece as video sequences are introduced into his sets. The visuals were designed by Italian artist Agostino Arrivabene and evoke a Biblical world with Hollywood flair. The show’s famous “Bacchanale” scene was choreographed by Eugénie Andrin and executed by the ballet of the Shanghai Opera.
For those not lucky enough to catch the first showing, “Samson and Delilah” by Camille Saint-Saëns has two more performances in the Principality:
Thursday 22 November, at 8 pm and Sunday 25 November, at 3 pm, Grimaldi Forum Monaco. Ticketing information can be found here.