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Ensemble

Robust and Vigorous

Saint-Saëns' 'Samson and Delilah',
reviewed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) was born in Paris. A tremendously precocious child, he was playing Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos with orchestra by the age of ten. He was to play piano and organ professionally for a full seventy-five years.

Clifton Forbis as Samson rallies the Israelites to revolt in the San Diego Opera production of 'Samson and Delilah'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard
Clifton Forbis as Samson rallies the Israelites to revolt in the San Diego Opera production of 'Samson and Delilah'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard

At the age of thirteen, Saint-Saëns began to study with Fromental Halévy at the Paris Conservatory. Upon graduation, he became a church organist, a position that was to allow him time for other pursuits while providing him with a steady income. In the eighteen-sixties, he also taught at the École Niedermeyer where André Messager and Gabriel Fauré were among his pupils.

Clifton Forbis (Samson) battles with Philip Skinner (Ambimelech) in the San Diego Opera production of 'Samson and Delilah'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard
Clifton Forbis (Samson) battles with Philip Skinner (Ambimelech) in the San Diego Opera production of 'Samson and Delilah'. Photo © 2007 Ken Howard

 

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Copyright © 26 March 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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