Let me just note for posterity that Olga Borodina made my Dalila dreams come true today after a partly disappointing showing by Maria Domashenko earlier. Borodina understood the caress in every line--her seduction of Samson was the life-sucking tractor beam it should be. Forbis was again very interesting...I don't think it's the sound I'd want for every Samson ever, but I don't want it to stop either.
Maestro Villaume's flailing aside, this was a nice opportunity to focus on the Met band, which was at their best today. To zero in on just one very small example--consider the little four note figure the strings play over and over in the lead up to the big Dalila aria in Act II. Most times I've heard this, it is what it is--but in the hands of the Met orchestra there is a subtle dynamic change from mezzopiano to mezzoforte and back again, and each note's dynamic is perfectly in proportion with the others. Played over and over again. Each time perfectly in proportion. It ceases to be a four note figure and becomes an organic experience. Wow.