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Posted: October 22, 2016

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to appear in opera

By Bob D'Angelo

Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Supreme Court justice and opera enthusiast Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be wearing a different set of robes next month, moving from her court chambers to the stage.

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On Nov. 12, the 83-year-old will perform in a non-singing role as the Duchess of Krakenthorp in Gaetano Donizetti’s “Daughter of the Regiment.” The Washington National Opera announced her one-time, opening night role in its staging of the show at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. next month.

“While the opera is best known for the vocal acrobatics required of its singers, the high-comedy antics of the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp often steal the show,” the opera said in a statement.

The script of the opera will be slightly altered to mention Ginsburg’s job as a Supreme Court justice. Her character has been played by a diverse set of performers, from Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé to actress Bea Arthur.

Ginsburg, however, is no stranger to the stage, appearing as an extra in several operas through the years.

In 2009, she and the late Justice Antonin Scalia were extras in a party scene of Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” on the Washington National Opera stage, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington National Opera said she also was an extra in "Ariadne auf Naxos" in 1994 and in Johann Strauss II's "Die Fledermaus" in 2003.

Another Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, once made a surprise appearance in the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s production of “Henry V,” playing the role of Isabel, queen of France.

Ginsburg has always had a love of the arts. According to the Washingtonian, her mother introduced her to theater at the Brooklyn Academy — “my dream place as a child.”

Ticket sales were brisk for “Daughter of the Regiment.”

“We definitely sold a lot of tickets today after our announcement,” Washington National Opera spokesman Michael Solomon told Reuters.


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