Based on the account in the biblical Book of Judges, the opera is in three acts. In Act 1, Samson, the victorious leader of the Hebrews, meets Delilah from the Valley of Sorek. In Act 2, Delilah seduces then betrays Samson, not for love of money as the Bible has it, but as librettist Ferdinand Lemaire proffers, out of nationalistic revenge. In Act 3, an eyeless Samson, shorn of his braids--and hence, God-given strength--nonetheless topples the temple upon himself and the Philistines during their festivities.


 

 
   
 

Soldier

 

by Camille Saint-Saens
Libretto
Ferdinand Lemaire
based on the Biblical Tale
Premiered: Grossherzogliches (Grand Ducal)
Theater in Weimar on December 2, 1877