The Met opened its current season with Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. The performance was streamed throughout the world and will doubtless last until the heat death of the universe. It will be telecast on Oct 20 as the second of the 10 operas that will make up the company’s HD series for this season. I’ll comment on the whole production after viewing it next month. The title roles were sung by Roberto Alagna and Elina Garanča.
The same cast is scheduled for the broadcast; but given the parlous state of Alagna’s voice I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t show up. His once lovely tenor was in tatters well before the opera ended; it’s been shredded by age and overuse. His pitch is uncertain and his high notes are screams. Here is the conclusion of Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix which shows the vocal state of both principals. Elina Garanča’s voice is in brilliant condition. Her sound is opulent over its entire range and at every amplitude. An artist at the peak of her extraordinary powers. The Met’s contracts are finalized years in advance which can be the only reason a singer in desperate shape had the lead in an opening night show.
More next month.