Nicky Spence (c) Bertie Watson

Samson et Dalila

26 May19 June 2022
The performance lasts about 2 hours 40 minutes, including one interval.
Main Stage
Opera and music

Pious restraint comes face to face with sensuous hedonism in Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand-opera retelling of the Bible story of Samson and Delilah.

Multi-Olivier Award winning director Richard Jones returns to The Royal Opera to stage this spectacular fin-de-siècle masterpiece, not performed at Covent Garden in over 40 years. Elīna Garanča stars as the Philistine Dalila, Nicky Spence as the inspiring Jewish hero Samson and Antonio Pappano conducts the full forces of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

With superb singing in solos and duets of great intimacy and fervour, gorgeous music with thrilling orchestral interludes, and splendid choral numbers for the Royal Opera Chorus – this will be an opera evening to remember.

Sung in French with English surtitles

Season Principal

Mrs Aline Foriel-Destezet

Position of Music Director Maestro Antonio Pappano generously supported by

Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE

Generous philanthropic support from

Julia and Hans Rausing, Gini and Richard Gabbertas, Alan and Caroline Howard, Aud Jebsen, Trifon and Despina Natsis and Simon and Virginia Robertson



Cast may vary depending on date. Go to dates and prices to view casting.


CompanyThe Royal Opera

MusicCamille Saint-Saëns

LibrettoFerdinand Lemaire

DirectorRichard Jones

Set designerHyemi Shin

Costume designerNicky Gillibrand

Lighting designerAndreas Fuchs

Movement directorLucy Burge


There is lift access and step-free seating to most levels of the Main Stage auditorium, except the Orchestra Stalls, which are reached by a minimum of nine steps. There are more than 100 seats in the Stalls Circle, Balcony and Amphitheatre which are accessible without the need to negotiate steps. In addition, many seats in these areas and in the Donald Gordon Grand Tier and Orchestra Stalls are accessible by 10 steps or fewer. Find out more about accessing the Main Stage Auditorium.

If you have concerns about how our Covid-19 safety measures may affect your access requirements, please contact



Help secure the future of ballet and opera.

Experience, enjoy, donate

Donate now