Samson et Dalila, based on the colorful Bible story, has remained a reliable crowd pleaser since its premiere in 1877, and admiration for its considerable qualities has grown steadily with the years. For one thing, Dalila has no fewer than three major arias, each more enchanting, if anything, than the one before ? a circumstance virtually unique in Romantic opera. This live 1964 broadcast from Amsterdam presents an exciting performance with two outstanding leads, one who was universally famous, and one who should have been. Born in Canada in 1926 as the sixth of eight children, Jon Vickers was intent on a business career until, at age twenty-two, the exceptional qualities of his voice were so evident that he enrolled in the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He was invited to join the Covent Garden Opera in London in 1957 and soon embarked upon a major international career. Beginning in 1960, he sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York for more than twenty-five years. Vickers was particularly noted in the heroic tenor roles of Radames, Aeneas, Siegmund, Otello, and Samson (both in Saint-Saëns?s opera and Handel?s oratorio!). The role of Dalila is sung here by the Mexican mezzo-soprano Oralia Dominguez, a passionate singer who was the equal of Maria Callas in fiery temperament and sang opposite her in a famous Aida recording. Nearly everyone today agrees that Dominguez should have become a major international star, but for whatever reasons she did not. Her relatively few recordings, especially in lead roles, are correspondingly all the more desirable. Opera d?Oro?s Grand Tier series presents the best-selling Opera d?Oro titles with libretto and deluxe new packaging at mid-price!