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Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns

(1835–1921)

 

French composer of around a dozen operas, Camille Saint-Saens's biblical based "Samson et Delila", remains deservedly popular today.

Originally intended as an oratorio, it has enjoyed ongoing success as an opera and over the years it has been a vehicle for rich voiced mezzo sopranos such as Rita Gorr, Ilena Obratsova, Rise Stevens & in recent times, Olga Borodina.

Two mezzos who did not fit the traditional mould who played Delilah to much acclaim were Fiorenza Cossotto and Shirley Verrett (who was filmed twice in complete performance)- once with Jon Vickers and once with Placido Domingo.

Another Samson of note was Mario Del Monaco.

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