Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila returns to the Met on March 13 starring Anita Rachvelishvili and Aleksandrs Antonenko

  • The new production, which opened the Met’s 2018–19  season, is directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak
  • Sir Mark Elder conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra                         

New York, NY (March 13, 2019)—The Metropolitan Opera presents Saint-Saëns’s biblical tragedy Samson et Dalila, with performances March 13–28, 2019. The production, which opened the Met’s 134th season in September and is the first new Met production of the opera in 20 years, is directed by Tony Award winner Darko Tresnjak and conducted by Sir Mark Elder.

Anita Rachvelishvili and Aleksandrs Antonenko, seen together as star-crossed lovers in recent Met performances of Carmen and Aida, renew their onstage pairing in the title roles. Laurent Naouri co-stars as the High Priest opposite Tomasz Konieczny as the Philistine King Abimélech and Günther Groissböck as the Old Hebrew.

At the performance on March 28, the role of Samson is sung by Kristian Benedikt.


Samson et Dalila Radio Broadcasts

The March 23 performance of Samson et Dalila will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SIRIUS XM Channel 75, and will also be broadcast over the Toll Brothers–Metropolitan Opera International Radio Network.


Samson et Dalila Artist Biographies

Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili makes her Met role debut as Dalila, a role she has previously sung at both Paris Opera and Opéra de Monte-Carlo opposite Aleksandrs Antonenko. She made her Met debut singing the title role in Bizet’s Carmen in 2011, which she also performed with the company in 2012, 2013, and 2014. Other Met performances include Konchakovna in Borodin’s Prince Igor and Azucena in Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Earlier this season, she sang Amneris in Verdi’s Aida and the Princess of Bouillon in Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur, both of which were seen in cinemas around the world as a part of The Met: Live in HD series.

Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko has sung the role of Samson at Paris Opera and Opéra de Monte-Carlo, both opposite Anita Rachvelishvili. Earlier this season at the Met, he starred as Radamès in Verdi’s Aida, also opposite Anita Rachvelishvili as Amneris. Other Met performances include Calàf in Puccini’s Turandot,concert performances of Verdi’s Requiem, the title role of Verdi’s Otello, Don José in Bizet’s Carmen,Pollione in Bellini’s Norma,Grigory in Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Luigi in Puccini’s Il Tabarro,and the Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka.This season, he also sings Otello at Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera.

French bass-baritone Laurent Naouri has previously sung the High Priest at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. He made his company debut in 2012 as Sharpless in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.Last season, he was seen as the Four Villains in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann,Capulet in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and Pandolfe in Massenet’s Cendrillon, which was seen around the world as a part of The Met: Live in HD series.

Polish bass-baritone Tomasz Konieczny makes his Met role debut as Abimélech. He makes his Met debut this season as Alberich in Wagner’s Das Rheingold, part of Der Ring des Nibelungen. He also appears in Siegfried and Götterdämmerung as part of complete Ring cycles later this season at the Met. Other recent performances include Telramund in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Bayreuth Festival, Karl in Schubert’s Fierrabras at La Scala, and Don Pizarro in Beethoven’s Fidelio at Vienna State Opera.  He has also performed as Wotan/Wanderer in Wagner’s Ring in Vienna, where he will appear later this season as George Danton in von Einem’s Dantons Tod .

Austrian bass Günther Groissböck adds a new role to his Met repertory as the Old Hebrew. Previous roles at the Met include his debut as Colline in Puccini’s La Bohème,Baron Ochs in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, Banquo in Verdi’s Macbeth, Lodovico in a new production of Verdi’s Otello, Hermann in Wagner’s Tannhäuser,and Don Fernando in Beethoven’s Fidelio.  Recent performances include Rocco in Fidelio at Bavarian State Opera, King Heinrich in Wagner’s Lohengrin at Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Fasolt in Wagner’s Das Rheingold at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This season at the Met, he sings Fasolt and Hunding in the return of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen.

British conductor Sir Mark Elder has been music director of the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester since 2000. He was formerly music director of English National Opera and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Conducting engagements include Paris Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dutch National Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, English National Opera, and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He made his Met debut in 1988 leading Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, and has also conducted Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and Otello,Boito’s Mefistofele,Wagner’s Tannhäuser,Dvořák’s Rusalka, and Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the company.

American director Darko Tresnjak, the artistic director of Hartford Stage, made his Met debut with Samson et Dalila. He received the 2014 Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his direction of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. He also received the 2015 Obie Award for his direction of The Killer. Other recent productions include John Corigliano’s The Ghost of Versailles and Verdi’s Macbeth at LA Opera, The Merchant of Venice at Theatre for a New Audience and the Royal Shakespeare Company, Rear Window at Hartford Stage, This Ain’t No Disco for Atlantic Theater Company, and Anastasia on Broadway. He has also directed at the Public Theater, Old Globe, Stratford Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Goodspeed Musicals, Long Wharf Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, and Vineyard Theatre.


For More Information

For further details on Samson et Dalila, including casting by date, please click here.



Samson et Dalila



Music by Camille Saint-Saëns

Libretto by Ferdinand Lemaire



Wednesday, March 13 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19 at 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, March 23 at 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 28 at 8:00 p.m.



Conductor                      Sir Mark Elder

Production                     Darko Tresnjak

Set Designer                   Alexander Dodge

Costume Designer          Linda Cho

Lighting Designer          Donald Holder

Choreographer               Austin McCormick





Anita Rachvelishvili


Aleksandrs Antonenko (Mar. 13, 16eve, 19, 23mat)


Kristian Benedikt (Mar. 28)

High Priest

Laurent Naouri


Tomasz Konieczny

The Old Hebrew

Günther Groissböck  



Production a gift of the Gramma Fisher Foundation, Marshalltown, Iowa, and

H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang, PhD. and Oscar Tang


Additional funding from The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Endowment Fund and William R. Miller


For prices and ticket information, please call (212) 362-6000 or visit

Special rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling (212) 341-5410 or visiting