She liked Wagner’s “Götterdämmerung,” and its finale, the Immolation Scene. We had a whole lot of conversations about Brünnhilde, and why it took a girl to save lots of the world. That’s what she stated: Solely a girl may do it; solely a girl may change the course of historical past. She did all the time love items the place the girl was the protagonist.
Her life was about understanding individuals’s tales, and that’s what we do. Whenever you have a look at her nice choices — like the daddy who was attempting to get baby care assist as a result of he was a widower, and at that time you possibly can solely get the assist in the event you had been a widow — these sorts of circumstances she made her profession of are the stuff of opera. The underdog, the ill-served character: Manon Lescaut, Violetta, ladies who must wrestle their method to the highest for survival. They linked to her judgment of right and wrong and what’s a humane way of life.
Sept. 19, 2020, 12:21 p.m. ET
After “Fidelio” we stayed actually shut. In D.C., I even put her in a talking position in “The Daughter of the Regiment.” I’d say she was somebody who liked the “ABC” — “Aida, “Bohème” and “Carmen” — but in addition extra refined and complicated works. She got here to each efficiency of Wagner’s “Ring” we did in Washington. And she or he would usually come to each the gown rehearsal and the primary efficiency of issues, after which additionally the final efficiency.
When her husband Marty handed, she would come extra usually. She would all the time deliver somebody along with her, generally one other justice. By the previous few years, she would seem and are available down the aisle and everybody would begin cheering. I believe that opera simply gave her an unimaginable escape. Significantly after Marty died, it allowed her thoughts to go locations it wanted to go to relaxation from the unimaginable work that she was doing for all of us. If the tireless pursuit of justice is your day job, it helps to spend time on the Café Momus in “La Bohème” at evening.
She got here to Glimmerglass for 9 summers and did a program known as “Legislation and Opera with R.B.G.” We’d had so many conversations about how, in lots of operas, there’s a contract. What opera doesn’t have a contract, or wrongdoing? And so we might do scenes from operas and she or he would discuss in regards to the authorized facet. We’d do the Seguidilla from “Carmen” and she or he’d clarify that that was plea bargaining.
We did “Scalia/Ginsburg” at Glimmerglass, about their friendship, and earlier than Scalia died, there have been many nice performances, after we would have opening nights in Washington, and Scalia would sit on one facet of the aisle and she or he sat within the different. They’d be pleasant and jocular and lovey-dovey on the opera, and also you knew the following day they might be giving opposing opinions.