Part III of Midday on Music opens with a brief snippet from a comic opera by Derrick Wang, a work that the composer -- who is also an attorney and constitutional scholar -- says was inspired by the friendship between two iconic figures in American jurisprudence: Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the late Antonin Scalia, who passed away in 2016. Wang's opera is called Scalia/Ginsburg, and it will receive its local premiere tonight at the Baltimore Concert Opera.
The Baltimore Concert Opera is an opera company that breaks the mold. It doesn't present fully staged productions with costumes and sets and a full orchestra, but over the past 10 years, its presentations of both classic operatic fare and lesser known works have attracted a strong following. Its productions, including the ones being offering this weekend, consistently sell out. As of September 1st, an all-female leadership team--unusual in classical music--including Artistic and General Director Julia Cooke and Music Director Rachelle Jonck, will guide Baltimore Concert Opera into the future.
The future of opera, like any art form, depends in part on cultivating fans of not just the standard canon, but also newer additions to the repertoire. In addition to Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg opera, this weekend’s fare at BCO includes an operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan called Trial by Jury. Both productions will also be performed April 28 and May 3 by OperaDelaware in Wilmington, Delaware.
Derrick Wang joins Tom in Studio A.
This conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page, and you can watch the video here, beginning at 40:00 into the stream.