The Metropolitan Opera kicks off its new season September 24 with a new staging of Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila. The production, directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak (Anastasia, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) in his Met debut, stars Roberto Alagna and Elīna Garanča in the title roles, under the baton of conductor Mark Elder.
Tresnjak’s production reunites him with several familiar collaborators, including costume designer Linda Cho, set designer Alexander Dodge, and lighting designer Donald Holder. Austin McCormick serves as choreographer.
Rounding out the principal company are Elchin Azizov as Abimélech, Laurent Naouri as High Priest, and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the Old Hebrew.
The new presentation of the biblical epic which weaves contemporary and ancient components. The aesthetic, was, in part, inspired by an iconic portrait of Gloria Swanson behind a veil. “The face behind the netting is both seductive and dangerous,” explains Tresnjak,” “so we looked for those ideas in architecture. What’s on the other side is sometimes deductive, it’s sometimes dangerous.”
The 2018–2019 season, which marks the first with Yannick Nézet-Séguin in his full-time position as music director, also includes two new production from Tony winner Michael Mayer: Verdi’s La Traviata and the North American premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie, as well as a new staging of Adriana Lecouvrer (with Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczala) and the return of Wagner’s four-part Ring Cycle.
Fall performances of Samson et Dalila continue through October 20; the production returns in March 2019 with a new cast led by Aleksandrs Antonenko and Anita Rachvelishvili.