When she isn't busy hearing arguments at the highest court in the land, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg can sometimes be found across town at the Kennedy Center as a spectator at the Washington National Opera.
Ginsburg, 79, is an opera buff whose love of the art form is well-known. The justice has spoken publicly about her passion for opera in interviews, and has even appeared onstage in cameo roles in productions of "Ariadne auf Naxos" and "Die Fledermaus" at the National Opera.
On Friday, Ginsburg was in Chicago to participate in an annual meeting of the American Bar Assn. As part of the conference, she spoke at a panel discussion titled "Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in Opera and the Supreme Court."
The panel discussion -- which also included Anthony Freud, general director of Chicago's Lyric Opera, and U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. -- focused on legal themes in opera, including scenes from Britten's "Billy Budd," Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Gounod's "Faust" and Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe."
The complete program for "Arias of Law" can be downloaded for free. The program features detailed essays on each of the operas discussed at Friday's panel.
Ginsburg isn't the only Supreme Court justice who is also an opera buff -- Justice Antonin Scalia has also been a regular at the National Opera, and the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist was said to be a Gilbert and Sullivan fan.
Later this month, Ginsburg is scheduled to travel to the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York where she will participate in a talk titled "Trials in Opera."
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