When Samson Met Delilah

A Reconception for Violin and Voice of Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns

My heart,  like a rose, opens wide with the sunrise.
when I hear your glowing music.

Gil Morgenstern and Klara Uleman
Nine Circles takes its exploration of the collaborative possibilities of words and music to a new level with When Samson Met Delilah.  This 70-minute reconception distills Camille Saint-Saënsí opera  down to a two-character work, with the role of Delilah performed by mezzo-soprano Klara Uleman singing Saint-Saënsí original music and the role of Samson performed by Gil Morgenstern playing new violin music written by Bruce Saylor.

The story is made contemporary by Saylorís music as well as the new libretto adaptation by Jonathan Levi that places the action in the present - bringing into relief the themes of faith versus politics, faith versus love and lust, and religious conflict.

When Samson Met Delilah introduces the astonishing Dutch director Corina Van Eijk to American audiences.  Van Eijk, whose Opera Spanga celebrates its 20th year of performing in Friesian cow pastures and Dutch villages in 2007, has received international acclaim for work that forces audiences to reflect anew on the meaning of traditional operas.  When Samson Met Delilah was the spark for a new collaboration with Nine Circles, Buwalsky: A Road Opera, and a film version of the full opera Samson et Dalila, which premiered on July 25, 2007. 

World Premiere: March 18, 2004, Symphony Space, New York, NY
European Premiere: January 20, 2005, The Netherlands

Corina van Eijk (U.S. Debut)
Jonathan Levi
Text adaptation
Bruce Saylor
Original Music
Camille Saint-Saëns
From the opera Samson et Dalila
Jolanda Lanslots
Pieter von Rooy
Tinus Holthuis Lighting
Gil Morgenstern
Samson (violin)
Klara Uleman Delilah (U.S. Debut)
Cristina Stanescu
Presented by Nine Circles and De Muselaer Netherlands, Henke Baars, Producer