Samson and Delilah: The Production – and Passion – of a Grand Opera

Epic passion, massive sets, bravura arias, large choral numbers and the famous “Bacchanale” dance.

It’s all preparing to unfold this Saturday, February 16 when San Diego Opera’s production of Camille Saint-Saens’ grand opera, “Samson and Delilah,” takes the stage.

How does such a large-scale production come together? Find out tonight (Feb 15) at 9pm during UCSD-TV’s “Opera Spotlight,” which goes behind-the-scenes of the staging process, including rehearsals, interviews with the talent and creative team, and more. (The half-hour program will also be available online by Monday, Feb. 18.)

In the meantime, take a peek at rehearsals with this short production update, or settle in for a conversation with the stars and creative team about the opera’s history, the challenges of designing, staging and performing the work, and the inspirations which Camille Saint-Saens drew upon in composing his dramatic masterpiece on Stars in the Salon. Finally, dive into the story of the Philistine temptress who pits her wiles, and her sex, against the superhuman strength of the mighty Hebrew warrior on OperaTalk!

San Diego Opera's "Daughter of the Regiment" Reporting for Duty

Chorus rehearsal for San Diego Opera's production of "Daughter of the Regiment"

UCSD-TV is thrilled to bring you another season of programming from San Diego Opera, which kicks off its 2013 season Jan 26 with Donizetti’s sparkling comedy “Daughter of the Regiment,” updated to the WWII era.

Leading up to Saturday’s premiere, tune in to San Diego Opera Stars in the Salon online, or tonight at 8 on UCSD-TV, to hear the cast and creative team’s thoughts on the composer, the opera’s history, traditions and musical highlights, and the joys and challenges of a theatrical life.

Our crew has been at the Civic Center recording all the action for UCSD-TV’s Friday night premiere of San Diego Opera Spotlight, but you can get a sneak peak with these brief video production updates that capture different phases of the intense rehearsal process. You can find them all at our Opera Spotlight series page or right here on the UCSD-TV blog!

First Rehearsal – Daughter of the Regiment

Chorus Rehearsal

First Onstage Rehearsal

Stars in the Salon

Fresh Year, Fresh Content – January 2013 Highlights

FOUNDERS’ DAY DELIVERED

To celebrate UC San Diego’s 52nd year, the campus invited six dynamic faculty members to share their inspirations for research and education with the audience at the Founders’ Symposium, part of the Founders’ Day celebration held in November.

If you couldn’t get to campus for the festive occasion, don’t worry because UCSD-TV is presenting the talks on TV and online this month.

Watch UC San Diego Founders’ Symposium.

SAN DIEGO OPERA SEASON PREMIERE!

UCSD-TV is thrilled to bring you another season of programming from San Diego Opera, which kicks off its 2013 season in January with Donizetti’s sparkling comedy “Daughter of the Regiment,” updated to the WWII era.

Get the history of the work from San Diego Opera’s Nick Reveles on “OperaTalk!,” go inside the performers’ creative process with “Stars in the Salon,” and venture behind the curtains with “Opera Spotlight” before the debut performance on January 26.

You can also catch up with previous San Diego Opera seasons at our opera website!

COASTAL COLLISION GOES OUT WITH A BANG

We finish off “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” series this month with even more fascinating conversations with cutting-edge thinkers and researchers. Topics range from the future of wireless medicine to learning to play the guitar later in life. Watch them all — and videos from the 2011 event — at “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” series page.

Also new in January:

Health & Medicine

Aging and Driving: A Complex Combination

Infant Care — Health Matters

Science

Ocean Acidification: Can Corals Cope?

Public Affairs

Rachel Carson’s Legacy: Finding the Wisdom and Insight for Global Environmental Citizenship

Humanities

The Evolution of Religion, Society & Consciousness with Ursula Kin — Burke Lecture

Arts & Music

Gabriel Kahane: Come On All You Ghosts — La Jolla Music Society SummerFest 2012

Let's Talk Murder in the Cathedral

The 1170 murder of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II shook Christian Europe to its foundation, and set off reverberations still felt today. The nefarious deed also inspired two 20th Century works of art, the verse play by T.S. Eliot and Ildebrando Pizzetti’s opera, “Murder in the Cathedral.”

San Diego Opera is staging its production of Pizzetti’s work this Spring, so UCSD-TV and San Diego Opera’s Nick Reveles want to make sure you know what it’s all about. In this edition of “San Diego OperaTalk,” Reveles offers a guided tour of “Murder in the Cathedral,” including its basis in Eliot’s play, the development of musical themes, and Pizzetti’s melding of words and music for maximum dramatic effect.

Watch “San Diego OperaTalk!: Murder in the Cathedral” tonight (12/6) at 10pm on UCSD-TV, or online now. And make sure to tune in to UCSD-TV in January when we’re back with new episodes of “Opera Spotlight” and “Stars in the Salon,” which take you behind the scenes of San Diego Opera‘s 2013 season!

Daughter of the Regiment Gets the OperaTalk! Treatment

Though war doesn’t immediately come to mind as fertile ground for levity, there have been many stage and film comedies with a military setting: Mr. Roberts, Operation Petticoat, Dr. Strangelove, MASH, and Stripes, to name but a few.  This is definitely not the case in opera, where war is usually presented as a grim backdrop to drama and hilarity does not ensue.

Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment (La Fille du Régiment) is that rare and lively exception to this rule, a musical soufflé about a rambunctious tomboy who is adopted by a group of soldiers.  Set in the waning days of World War II in San Diego Opera’s production, it has everything you want in a comic opera – farcical plot, star-crossed young lovers, larger-than-life characters, scheming relatives, rousing numbers for the chorus, a plethora of vocal gymnastics (including the famous nine high Cs for the tenor) and, of course, a happy if improbable ending.

In this new edition of San Diego OperaTalk!, premiering tonight (Oct. 23) at 8pm (and online now), Nick Reveles explains it all to you in his inimitable style, including the opera’s origins and the historic role of women in the military.  Who knew war could be so much fun?

Watch Daughter of the Regiment – San Diego OperaTalk! with Nick Reveles tonight at 8pm or online now.