Scalia/Ginsburg: Comic Opera in One Act

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Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Stanford University
471 Lagunita Drive
Stanford, CA 94305

When composer Derrick Wang was a law student, he was inspired to create a musical work that showcases the friendship and long-running constitutional duel between Justices Scaliaand Ginsburg. The result is an American comic opera in one act: Scalia/Ginsburg. You are cordially invited to a special showing of excerpts from Scalia/Ginsburg performed by two singers with piano accompaniment by Derrick Wang. The evening will begin with an introduction by the composer, followed by the performance, and it will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Professor Paul Brest. 

Meet the Panelists:
Paul Brest, moderator, Professor of Law, Emeritus and Former Dean, Stanford Law School
Heather Hadlock, Associate Professor of Musicology, Stanford University
Bernadette Meyler, Professor of Law and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar, Stanford Law School
Matthew Tiews, Associate Dean for the Advancement of the Arts, School of Humanities & Sciences 

This event is free and open to the public. Seats will be reserved for Stanford Law alumni and guests who register online by Friday, May 8.

To Register, Click Here

The Artists

What happens when Supreme Court justices go before a Higher Power? In this comic opera, Justices Ginsburg and Scalia must pass through three cosmic trials to secure their freedom. The catch: they may have to agree on the Constitution. Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg is a valentine to law and opera, where the law’s leading players go toe-to-toe and trill-to-trill in a (gentle) parody of operatic proportions. Opinions will be offered. Dissents will be delivered. And justice will be sung.

A buddy comedy with an operatic twist, Scalia/Ginsburg reflects the witty style of its subjects by applying the novel technique of “operatic precedent.” Just as a court opinion analyzes previous cases to develop a new decision, the score of Scalia/Ginsburg revels in references to beloved operas, transforming them into new and effervescent commentaries on music and law.

By presenting current legal issues in a concise and entertaining manner, Scalia/Ginsburg aims to reach new audiences for opera. Moreover, by dramatizing the friendship of two justices with (frequently) opposing viewpoints, Scalia/Ginsburg aims to encourage nuanced discussion of issues faced by the Supreme Court. Furthermore, through its playful reference to famous operas of the past, Scalia/Ginsburg appeals to frequent and first-time operagoers alike.