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Samson and Dalila – Kristian Benedikt on the way to MET.


Samson and Dalila

 Relaxed after the Samson and Dalila premiere, from right Kristian Benedikt, Dalia Ibelhauptaite, Justina Gringyté, foto Henning Høholt.jpg


Relaxed after the Samson and Dalila premiere, from right Kristian Benedikt, Dalia Ibelhauptaite, Justina Gringyté, foto Henning Høholt. All rights reserved – Kulturkompasset.com

– Kristian Benedikt on the way to the

METROPOLITAN Opera in New York 

Review by Henning Høholt, text and photos.
VILNIUS/LITHUANIA: Samson and Dalila with Kristian Benedikt and Justina Gringyté in the titelroles, excellent staged by Dalia Ibelhauptaté and well and musically conducted by Gintaras Rinkevicius presented at Vilnius City Opera brings this opera back to the Lithuanian audience after 86 years, as last time it was presented as a performance was in 1931. – However parts of Samson and Dalila in concert versions has been performed.

With an international star cast as mentioned, and with Kostas Smoriginas as the High Priest, the brilliant sounding Kaunas State Opera Choir, led by Petras Bingelis, and the very good Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra every thing was ready for a success for the young opera company performed in its home Vilnius Congres Concert Hall. Who through its interesting programming is adding interesting operas to the opera experience to the capital of Lithuania.

Kristian Benedikt receiving applaus, in front of soloists and choir members. Foto Henning Høholt.

Kristian Benedikt receiving applaus, in front of soloists and choir members. Foto Henning Høholt.

Kristian Benedikt

The leading international Lithuanian opera star to day Kristian Benedikt was again on the podium, the audience loves him. His dramatic tenor voice suits the role as Samson very well, furthermore he has the lyric sound when needed, which made the famouse duet in the second act together with his Dalila, to some hing extraordinary. By his presence on stage, the whole production is being lifted to an international level as the other participants are following very well up. The coming autumn Benedikt shall share the Samson role with Roberto Alagna at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and in May 2019 Benedikt is alone as Samson. New York can be looking forward to a wonderful dramatic/lyric tenor.

Applaus: Kristian Benedikt, and behind from right Gintaras Rinkevicius, Dalia Ibelhauptaite, Juozas Statkevicius, Justina Gringyté, foto Henning Høholt

Applaus: Kristian Benedikt, and behind from right Gintaras Rinkevicius, Dalia Ibelhauptaite, Juozas Statkevicius, Justina Gringyté, foto Henning Høholt

Justina Gringyté

Justina Gringyté as Dalila sung and filled up the role very well, and looked beautiful. Since i met her first time at the Kirsten Flagstad festival in Hamar, Norway, and recogniced her beautiful and colourfull mezzo, her voice has been growing even more pretty, and in her excellent stage presence she made a good role following up hers Salome very well.

Kostas Smoriginas

Kostas Smoriginas was outstanding, powerfull and very good and safe as the highpriest. It was a pleasure to enjoy his excellent stage presence and beautiful baryton sound.

Kostas Smorigonas as the High Priest has just arrived for the offering ceremony, in front Kaunas Opera Choir and The Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Photo Henning Høholt

Kostas Smorigonas as the High Priest has just arrived for the offering ceremony, in front Kaunas Opera Choir and The Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra. Photo Henning Høholt

In other roles we enjoyed Tadas Girinkas as Abimélech and as the Old Hebrew. The Three Palestines were Eimantas Besénas, Ksystofas Bondarenko and Edgaras Davidovicius.

The scenography by Dick Bird, in addition developed with video by Linartas Urniezis, and effectual light design by Andrius Stasiulis, functioned well on the special stage, – which in fact is the concert podium for the orchestra, as this hall is not build for such kind of performances. Costumes by Juozas Statkevicius ans Dalia Ibelhauptaite was like cut out from a costume history book, and looked good on stage, perhaps, for me too many small details, it could have been simpler, to make a more quiet stage picture. This production visually, without any trying to make it modern or updated, and not to push in more sex than it is written from the libretto side, is a way to present a classical opera, how i like it, and also hope shall be an inspiration for coming generations to enjoy classical operas. Very well made.

 Kristian Benedikt as Samson, last act.


Kristian Benedikt as Samson, last act.

Camille Saint – Säens opera „Samson and Dalila“

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