Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsburg, longtime colleagues and good friends, don’t share much in terms of jurisprudence but do share a love of opera. It’s fitting, then, that their Con Law clashes will serve as the basis for a new operatic work.
Where did Wang come up with the idea for an opera about these two distinguished jurists? As it turns out, Wang is not only a composer but a law school graduate. Where did he go to law school, and why?
After Derrick Wang graduated from Harvard College and the Yale School of Music, he entered law school at the University of Maryland. In this interview with Spencer Mazyck of Bloomberg Law, Wang explains his professional journey — in his great, surprisingly deep voice, fit for a newscaster (or opera singer) — and discusses the reactions of the two justices to his work about them:
Despite his explanation, I still find his decision to go to law school a bit puzzling. There are easier ways to learn more about intellectual property law than investing three years of your life in getting a J.D. degree.
On the other hand, the scholarship to Maryland greatly reduced the resistance along that path. And if Wang hadn’t gone to law school, he probably wouldn’t have come up with the brilliant idea for “Scalia/Ginsburg.” As he explains during the interview, reading Scalia’s fiery dissents in Con Law is what gave Wang the inspiration for his work.
Although he took the Maryland bar exam this past summer, Wang is currently focused not on practicing law but on finishing “Scalia/Ginsburg.” It sounds like it will be an amazing piece — check out some of the excellent lyrics over at NPR — and we can’t wait to see two of our favorite judicial divas portrayed on stage by actual divas. Good luck, Derrick, as you put the finishing touches on the opera!
Stealth Lawyer: Derrick Wang, Composer & Pianist [Bloomberg Law via YouTube]
Scalia V. Ginsburg: Supreme Court Sparring, Put To Music [NPR]