‘Mon coer s’ouvre à ta voix’ (My heart opens to your voice) takes its name from the famous love (and betrayal) duet in Act II of Samson et Dalila by Camille Saint-Saëns. It addresses one of the key moments in opera when the mezzo-soprano, as Delilah, needs to convince Samson that her love is real and that she will not betray him. At the same time, the singer needs win the audience. Even though we know that she is setting a trap for Samson and that she will betray him, we should wonder at her motive, suspect that she might really love him, and we need to love her ourselves, if only for a moment, to believe that we too might be swayed to reveal a fatal secret by the power and beauty of her song.
What are the hidden powers at play in this most seductive of love duets?