This 90's EMI recording of Saint-Saens' most famous operatic work Samson et Dalila, still a popular opera in most companies, stars Placido Domingo and mezzo soprano Waltraud Meir. They are both mature, lyrically resplendent singers who not only sing beautifully and with gusto, but live their characters as well. Certainly, Domingo knew how to live each of his roles. Singing in his later years, his voice is dark, masculine, still lyrically strong and his high register is still above the staff and above the orchestra. His French diction is superb. As Samson, he seems to take on a Wagnerian hero approach. Samson, a Hebrew Old Testament version of Hercules, is a man whose heart is in the right place and attempts to save his people from the wicked pagan Phillistines. His one weakness: the beautiful and seductive Dalila. The true measure of a great Samson et Dalila lies in the vocal prowess of the lead tenor and mezzo, not to mention a good conducting of the score. While Chung may not be an especially striking conductor, this recording is blessed with the talents of Domingo and Meier. Meier is acclaimed for her Wagner (Isolde, Bragaine) and her Mozart repertoire (Despina, Elvira, Cherubino) her voice is strong in the middle register and velvety in the higher register. She is an appropriately seductive and sensual Dalilah, though I would also have enjoyed Grace Bumbry or Shirley Verrett, if both these singers could have for once been pulled out of retirement to sing opposite Placido's excellent Samson. This is a fine recording with great moments. Even the wonderful Samuel Ramey sings a particularly brilliant High Priest. I recommend you listen to the following highlights- the opening chorus, Samson's arias (all of them) and Dalilah's "Samson, Recharce Ma Presence", an unbeatable rendition on this recording.