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A Hairy Ordeal 

Why, oh why, Delilah?

The biblical figure Samson is wreathed in poetic images of might and faith. His shoulders were 60 ells across, he successfully tied 300 torches to the tails of 300 foxes, and he slew an entire army with a donkey's jawbone. Who on earth could best such a man? Only a woman, of course. The beauteous Delilah wore down Samson's resolve with the promise of her own body if he'd only reveal the secret of his strength — it's his long hair — a scene re-created in the renowned second act of Camille Saint-Saëns' grand opera Samson and Delilah. Once shorn, Samson (played by Hugo Vera, pictured) is captured by his enemies, the Philistines, blinded and imprisoned. But Samson gets his revenge in a big finish that brings down the house — literally. New Opera Saint Louis stages Samson and Delilah, its first full production, at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (November 15 and 16) at Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Synagogue (1107 East Linden Avenue, Richmond Heights; 314-865-0038 or www.newoperastl.org). The performance is in French with English supertitles, and it features dancers from Indiana University in the requisite ballet section. Tickets are $22 to $38.
Sat., Nov. 15; Sun., Nov. 16, 2008

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