Not a great?

Lynn S, in one of her characteristically thoughtful posts, wonders why Saint-Sans isn’t considered one of the “top” classical composers.
As someone who has had to sit through more mediocre performances of Samson et Dalila than I care to count, I think I can respond by invoking Castel’s First Law of Opera:
Any opera where the ballet music is the best and most memorable part of the piece does not deserve a permanent place in the repertory. (See also Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and Borodin’s Prince Igor for further confirmation.)

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