Law in Popular Culture

Justice Ginsburg Talks About Arias, the Law and the Most Famous Plea Bargain in Opera

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Noted opera fan Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about
opera and the law. Photo by Kathy Anderson

Opera, like great litigation, involves powerful storytelling, which evokes a variety of audience emotions.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke about her love of both mediums Friday at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago, in a CLE program titled, “Arias of Law: The Rule of Law at Work in Opera and the Supreme Court.”

The panel, moderated by Chicago lawyer Craig Martin and sponsored by the ABA Section of Litigation, also included U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli and Anthony Freud, general director of Chicago’s Lyric Opera.

Afterward, Ginsburg sat down with the ABA Journal to chat about operas she listens to at work, music she recommends to law clerks and operas featuring legal dramas. She also talks about the time she was serenaded by Plácido Domingo.

See video of the interview:

Watch the serenade here:

Also see:

Associated Press: “Justice Ginsburg weighs legal lessons of opera”

ABANow: “Lawyers Enjoy a Morning at the Opera With Justice Ginsburg and Solicitor General Verrilli”

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