American Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is swapping the stand for the stage as she prepares to star in Washington National Opera’s (WNO) production of La Fille du Regiment. Donizetti’s comic opera tells the tale of a young woman torn between her family and the love of her life. It runs from 12-20 November, and is directed by Robert Longbottom.
Ginsberg will take on a speaking-only role as the Duchess of Krakenthorp. She will wear a custom-made costume that includes a large feathery hat, while WNO has also announced that some of the lines will be re-written for her.
This is not Ginsberg’s first foray into opera: she made non-speaking cameo appearances in the WNO’s Die Fliedermaus in 2003 and Ariadne in 2009. Later in the 2016-17 season she will appear on stage with WNO artistic director Francesca Zambello for a discussion of justice in opera.
When she was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993 Ginsberg became only the second ever female justice of the Supreme Court. Before joining the court, she worked as advocate for women’s rights and as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Ginsberg will appear in the 12 November production only.