CAA Arts Access: Samson et Dalila at The Metropolitan Opera

CAA Arts Access: Samson et Dalila at The Metropolitan Opera

Darko Tresnjak '98SOA's Met Opera Directorial Debut
Date and time 
Oct 16, 2018 - 7:30pm to 10:30pm
Performance, Talkback
Event type 
Arts Access Event
Alumni Artist Event

Orchestra Rear $65

Balcony $45

Current Columbia University Students $25 

The Metropolitan Opera
30 Lincoln Center Plaza
New York, NY 10023
United States

Join CAA Arts Access in partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts for an evening at the Metropolitan Opera for its 2018 production of Saint-Saëns’s biblical epic Samson et Dalila.

Mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and tenor Roberto Alagna, the star duo reunites for the Met's opening season in the title roles of Samson et Dalila. Darko Tresnjak '98SOA, who won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical in 2014 for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, makes his Met debut directing a vivid, seductive staging, featuring a monumental setting for the last-act Temple of Dagon, where the hero crushes his Philistine enemies. Sir Mark Elder conducts the first new Met production of the work in 20 years.

We will have a talkback with director Darko Tresnjak '98SOA. Details to be confirmed.

The estimated run time is approximately 3 hours with two 30 minute intermissions between the Act II and Act III. The opera will be sung in French with Met titles in English, German, and Spanish.



Palestine, 1150 B.C. In a square in Gaza, a group of Hebrews beg Jehovah for relief from their bondage to the Philistines; Samson, their leader, rebukes them for their lack of faith. When the Philistine commander, Abimélech, denounces the Hebrews and their God, Samson kills him and leads the Hebrews away. The High Priest of Dagon comes from the Philistine temple and curses Samson's prodigious strength, leaving with the slain man's bier. An Old Hebrew praises the returning Samson. The outer walls of the temple disappear to reveal Samson's former lover, the Philistine woman Dalila, who invites him to come that night to her nearby dwelling. She and her maidens dance seductively for Samson, who becomes deaf to the Old Hebrew's dour prophecies.


In the vale of Sorek, Dalila calls on her gods to help her ensnare and disarm Samson, promising the High Priest to find a way to render the hero powerless. Samson appears, passionate in spite of himself; when Dalila has him in her power, she feigns disbelief in his constancy and demands that he show his love by confiding in her the secret of his strength, weeping when he refuses. Samson hears rolling thunder as a warning from God but cannot resist following Dalila inside. Not long afterward, having finally learned that the secret of Samson's strength is his long hair, she calls to hidden Philistine soldiers, who rush in to capture and blind Samson.


In a dungeon at Gaza, the sightless Samson pushes a grist mill in a circle, praying for his people, who will suffer for his sin. He hears their voices castigating him.

During a bacchanal in the Temple of Dagon, Dalila and the High Priest taunt Samson. When they force him to kneel to Dagon, he asks a boy to lead him to the two main pillars of the temple. Samson prays to Jehovah to restore his strength, and with a mighty effort he pulls down the pillars and the temple, crushing himself and his foes.

Visit the Met Opera site for more information here.