The Royal Opera House today announces that sadly Nicky Spence will no longer sing the role of Samson in the upcoming performances of Samson et Dalila (26 May-19 June). 

Following his injury earlier in the year, the Royal Opera and Nicky have mutually agreed that the rigours of this production are such that neither party wishes to negatively impact Nicky’s recovery. The Royal Opera look forward to welcoming Nicky back as soon as we can.

Nicky Spence said: “It is with a heavy heart and despite making excellent progress in rehabilitation that we’ve agreed my withdrawal from the role, which has been a joy to prepare.” 

South Korean tenor SeokJong Baek will perform the role of Samson – making his Royal Opera House and role debut opposite Elīna Garanča’s Dalila in Camille Saint-Saëns’s grand-opera, directed by multi award-winning director Richard Jones and conducted by Music Director of the Royal Opera, Antonio Pappano

Baek, who retrained from baritone to tenor during the pandemic, will next perform at Palm Springs Opera in concert singing arias from Turandot, Tosca, Carmen and La Gioconda. Next season, he will make his Prague State Opera debut singing his first performances of Calaf (Turandot), Canio (Pagliacci) and Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana), and will make his Arizona Opera debut as Cavaradossi (Tosca), he will also join the roster of the Metropolitan Opera.  

The rest of the cast remains unchanged.