Trial By Jury and Scalia/Ginsburg

 

SCALIA/GINSBURG 

BY DERRICK WANG

 

& TRIAL BY JURY

BY GILBERT AND SULLIVAN

Orchestration by Derrick Wang

APRIL 17 (7:30 PM), APRIL 18 (7:30 PM) & APRIL 19 (2:00 PM), 2020 at the Valentine Theatre

 

Derrick Wang's Scalia/Ginsburg is an American comic opera inspired by the unlikely friendship of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. Launched at a special presentation at the Supreme Court of the United States in 2013, Scalia/Ginsburg received its world premiere production in 2015 to rave reviews. Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury is a joy of courtroom banter and farce. Plaintiff Angelina sues the fickle defendant, Edwin, for breach of marriage promise. Through much compromise and hilarity, the judge resolves he should marry Angelina himself. One of G&S’s early collaborations remains one of their most good-humored—with a quintessentially British dry wit.

Trial by Jury kicks off this evening of courtroom hilarity with Scalia/Ginsburg anchoring the second half.

 

Performed in English with English supertitles.

Trial By Jury

Angelina is suing Edwin for breach of promise, claiming that he has broken his word to marry her. In his own defense, Edwin argues that is unfair to punish him for loving one girl one day and, bored with her, loving another the next. However, the sight of this beautiful girl overcome by emotion and greatly distressed quickly captures the hearts of the 'impartial' jury. In an attempt to resolve the matter, Edwin offers to marry both girls but his suggestion is rejected on the grounds of bigamy.

Faced with potentially substantial damages, Edwin then claims to be a drunkard and a bully, liable to beat Angelina when intoxicated, and worth very little in financial terms. This leads the Judge to suggest that they make him drunk and observe his behavior towards Angelina! When all except Edwin object to this the Judge becomes very impatient with the whole affair and, in a final effort to bring the trial to a conclusion, he declares that he will marry Angelina himself. This suits everybody, and the case is closed.

 

Scalia/Ginsburg

1. In the plot of this comic opera, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is visited by The Commentator, an otherworldly figure who:

   A. Confronts Justice Scalia (as in Don Giovanni).

   B. Seals Justice Scalia in a chamber (as in Aïda).

   C. Compels Justice Scalia to undergo three trials (as in The Magic Flute).

   D. All of the above.

2. When Justice Ginsburg arrives to assist Justice Scalia, she:

   A. Comforts Justice Scalia (in the style of Bellini).

   B. Debates Justice Scalia (in the style of Verdi and Mozart).

   C. Explains her view of the evolving Constitution (in evolving musical styles).

   D. All of the above.

3. The trials undergone by the Justices include:

   A. An inquisition (in which the Commentator directly questions the Justices).

   B. A trial of silence (in which the Justices must not say anything).

   C. A mystery.

   D. All of the above.

4. If the Justices pass the trials, they will receive:

   A. Their freedom from the sealed chamber.

   B. Access to another realm.

   C. A special talent.

   D. All of the above.

5. In the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, Justices Ginsburg and Scalia are described as:

   A. [U.S.] Supreme Court Justices.

   B. Different.

   C. One.

   D. All of the above.

 

MUSICAL NUMBERS

“The Justices are blind!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scalia

“Dissent!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Commentator

“Oh, Nino” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . Ginsburg, Scalia

“Always ‘liberal’” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scalia, Ginsburg

“You are searching in vain (for a bright-line solution)” . . . . . . . . . . . Ginsburg

“He built stairs” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scalia

“You, sir, are wrong here” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ginsburg

“Withdrawn!” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Commentator

“We are different, we are one” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ginsburg, Scalia

Finale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Commentator, Ginsburg, Scalia

 

 

Jennifer Zetlan, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Scalia/Ginsburg

Soprano Jennifer Zetlan is internationally recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence. She has been seen and heard on opera and concert stages worldwide, as well as recital venues, and on Broadway.  In the 2019-2020 season Ms. Zetlan returns to the Metropolitan Opera to cover the role of Queen Tye (Akhnaten) and reprises the role of Ruth Bader Ginsberg in Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg (Toledo Opera, Opera Grand Rapids) and the title character in Ricky Ian Gordon’s Ellen West (Prototype Festival).  She will also be heard in a premiere of a new Paul Moravec oratorio at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Society of NY.  Known for her passion for contemporary music, Ms. Zetlan has been featured in the premieres of numerous American operas, including Nico Muhly’s Two Boys (The Metropolitan Opera) and Dark Sisters (Opera Company of Philadelphia and Gotham Chamber Opera), John Musto’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt (On Site Opera), Steven Stucky’s The Classical Style (Carnegie Hall and the Ojai Festival), Daron Hagen’s Amelia (Seattle Opera), Ned Rorem’s Our Town (Aspen Music Festival, Juilliard Opera Center), Matt Aucoin’s Crossing (American Repertory Theatre), Ricky Ian Gordon’s Morning Star (Cincinnati Opera, On Site Opera), and Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre (Center for Contemporary Opera).  At the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Zetlan has been seen in HD as Xenia (Boris Godunov), and has also been seen in War and Peace, Le nozze di Figaro, and Macbeth.  Ms. Zetlan recently released her debut solo album Your Clear Eye (with label Bright Shiny Things) with composer and pianist Ricky Ian Gordon.  Other recent recordings include Naxos releases of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre and Falla’s El Retablo de Maese Pedro with the Perspectives Ensemble.  Ms. Zetlan is on the voice faculty of the Mannes School of Music.

 

Brian Cheney, Justice Antonin Scalia - Scalia/Ginsburg

Hailed by KUSC Los Angeles as the “next great tenor,” Brian Cheney, protégé of legendary tenor Jerry Hadley, has gained international acclaim for his portrayal of characters such as Don José (Carmen), Mario Cavaradossi (Tosca), Rodolfo (La bohème), the Duke (Rigoletto), Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor), and Canio (Pagliacci). Last season, Mr. Cheney performed the role of Victor Frankenstein (Frankenstein) with The Angel's Share in the Brooklyn Catacombs, the tenor solo in the Bernstein Choral Celebration with National Philharmonic at the Kennedy Center, Puccini’s Messa di Gloria and Saint-Saens’ Oratorio de Noel with Cappella Cantorum, Verdi’s Requiem with Southern Illinois Symphony, as a soloist in the Three Holiday Tenors concert with NJ Festival Orchestra, in a Gala concert with the St. Johns Lattingtown Church, and in the Salute to Vienna Concerts produced by Attila Glatz Productions. He also performed Canio (Pagliacci) and the tenor soloist in Pulcinella with Opera Orlando, Manrico (Il trovatore) with Southern Illinois Music Festival, and as Scalia in the World Premiere of Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Delaware. Additional recent engagements included the role of Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with Opera Piccola, Festival Opera, Southern Illinois Music Festival, and Pacific Opera Project; Don José (Carmen) with Knoxville Opera, Window Symphony Orchestra, Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, and Southern Illinois Music Festival; Rodolfo (La bohème) with Window Symphony Orchestra and Norwalk Symphony; Canio (Pagliacci) with Asheville Lyric Opera and Heartland Opera Theatre; Pinkerton (Madama Butterfly) with Salt Marsh Opera; Lord Byron (Ada) with Center for Contemporary Opera; and Cavardossi (Tosca) with Southern Illinois Music Festival and Pacific Opera Project.

 

Michael Colman, The Commentator - Scalia/Ginsburg and Foreman of the Jury - Trial By Jury

Michael Colman, recently hailed by Opera News for “fielding a fine, dark bass-baritone,” has performed with many premier regional opera companies throughout the country. Mr. Colman made his professional debut singing the Imperial Commissioner (Madama Butterfly) as an Apprentice Artist with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and went on to perform roles including Basilio (Il barbiere di Seviglia) with Chautauqua Opera and Virginia Opera, Schaunard (La bohème) with Indianapolis Opera, Sergeant of Police (The Pirates of Penzance) with Dayton Opera, Ceprano (Rigoletto) with Toledo Opera, Dottore Grenvil (La Traviata) with Opera on the James, Leporello (Don Giovanni) with Janiec Opera Company, and Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) with the University of Kansas. An avid concert singer, he has performed as the Bass Soloist (Messiah) with the Dayton Philharmonic, the Bass Soloist (Mozart Requiem) with The Virginia Consort, and recently sang in recital with Warren Jones at the Manchester Music Festival. Upcoming engagements include Father (Thumbprint) and Angelotti (Tosca) with Chautauqua Opera, King of Egypt (Aida) with Toledo Opera, and Guglielmo (Così fan tutte) with Opera Grand Rapids. Mr. Colman is past Resident Artist of Toledo Opera and currently a student at Indiana University studying with Professor Peter Volpe.

 

Rahim Mandal, The Learned Judge - Trial By Jury

American baritone Rahim Mandal who is known for his vocal power and charismatic presence, is thrilled to be one of Toledo Opera’s Resident Artists for the 2019-2020 season. Recently, Mr. Mandal was seen singing Usciere (Rigoletto) with New Orleans Opera. Other professional engagements include the Big Bad Wolf in Samuel Barber’s Little Red Riding Hood with New Orleans’ MetroPelican Opera Company’s outreach program, Wagner (​Faust) with Natchez Music Festival, and Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas) with Teatro Lírico in Havana, Cuba. Mr. Mandal has also been a soloist for many concerts including a benefit concert of Faure’s Requiem. Mr. Mandal holds two degrees in vocal performance, a Bachelor’s from Loyola University New Orleans and a Masters from Florida State University.

 

Caroline Miller, The Plaintiff - Trial By Jury

Caroline Miller is here in Toledo as the 2019/20 Soprano Resident Artist, and is thrilled to be playing Gretel in the Opera on Wheels Program, Hansel and Gretel vs the Witch. She is making the most of her time this season in Toledo by programming a centennial suffrage celebration concert, Nevertheless We Persist,  with the other resident artists to take place at St Michael’s church in May, as well as creating a short film of an opera-aerial collaboration to be released this year. Next year she will be returning to Toledo opera to play the role of Valencienne in The Merry Widow. She appeared with Ohio Light Opera as Phyllis (Iolanthe), Mascha (The Chocolate Soldier), and the dramatic diva Bellabruna (Blossom Time). Ms. Miller appears on the only contemporary professional recording of Blossom Time, produced by Albany Records. Opera News lauded her portrayal of Bellabruna, writing “Miller projects all the confident insouciance of a pampered prima donna.” She is a co-founder of The Pleiades Project, which tells women’s stories and brings opera to new audiences through film. Ms. Miller starred in the short-film Così, which was named an official selection in the NY Indie Theatre Film Festival. She holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis.

 

Brian Skoog, The Defendant - Trial By Jury

American tenor Brian Skoog is known for his “strong voice” and “fine lyric tenor.” He was most recently seen with Toledo Opera as Chester A. Arthur (The Ballad of Baby Doe)His 2019-2020 season includes operatic performances as Ferrando (Così fan tutte), Edmondo (Manon Lescaut), and Mozart (Mozart and Salieri), as well as concert appearances singing Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings and Mozart’s Mass in C minor. In 2018, Mr. Skoog appeared as Tamino (Die Zauberflöte) for the Nina Odescalchi Kelly Family Matinee at Central City Opera, where he also sang the dual role of Larry/Matt (The Face on the Barroom Floor). Last season, Mr. Skoog performed the role of Tebaldo in Bellini’s I Capuleti e i Montecchi with The Cleveland Opera; previous Cleveland highlights include Tamino (Die Zauberflöte), Tito (La clemenza di Tito), Jenik (The Bartered Bride), and the Witch (Hänsel und Gretel). Recent seasons include: Gastone (La traviata) with Cleveland Opera Theater, Le Remendado (Carmen) with Dayton Opera, Theseus (Hercules vs. Vampires) and Elder Hayes (Susannah) with Nashville Opera, and Mark Smeaton (Rex) with Utah Festival Opera. An active concert performer, Mr. Skoog appeared with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra last season as the tenor soloist for Handel’s Messiah. Other recent concert highlights include Bach’s Cantata No. 80, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Brouwer’s Voice of the Lake (World Premiere), Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Schumann’s Dichterliebe. Mr. Skoog is a previous Toledo Opera Resident Artist. Learn more at www.brianskoog.com.

 

Jaewook Lee, Counsel for the Plaintiff - Trial By Jury

Jaewook Lee, tenor and native South Korean, received a BM from Seoul National University and a Diploma and a Master’s degree from Southern Methodist University. His operatic roles while at SMU included Don Basilio (Le nozze di Figaro), The Mayor (Albert Herring), Count Belfiore (La finta giardiniera) and Sam Polk (Susannah). He sang the role of Tamino (The Magic Flute) at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Naples, Italy, Nemorino in the Dallas Opera’s outreach production of The Elixir of Love and Alfredo (La traviata) at Opera in the Ozarks. Mr. Lee was a finalist in 2012 and 2014 at the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition and 2014 at the McCammon Voice Competition and won fourth place at NATS. He just finished his Artist Diploma program at Texas Christian University where he performed the roles of Don José (La tragédie de Carmen), Fenton (Falstaff), Lysander (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi).

 

Justin Bays, Usher - Trial By Jury

Justin Scott Bays is a native of Ohio and with recent roles including: Enrico (Il Campanello) with Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp; Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) with The University of Toledo; Papageno (Die Zauberflöte) with Toledo Opera on Wheels; Fiorello (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Toledo Opera, Marullo (Rigoletto) with West Bay Opera; Masetto (Don Giovanni) with The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM); Sid (Albert Herring), Bill Sauer (Money Tree), Boy 2 in (Trouble in Tahiti), Masetto (Don Giovanni) with Waffle Opera, and Pritschitsch (The Merry Widow). Mr. Bays has extensive training in musical theater with roles including: Emcee (Cabaret), Nicely Nicely Johnson (Guys and Dolls), Malcolm (The Full Monty), Hucklebee (The Fantasticks), Gordon (A New Brain), and Guido (Nine). Mr. Bays has also performed on national tours, as well as an international tour to New Zealand as a featured soloist. He has performed in China with the iSING International Young Artist Program where he performed with the Shanghai Symphony and the Shanghai Philharmonic. Mr. Bays was a Resident Artist for Toledo Opera in 2016-17 and has performed in many Toledo Opera productions.

 

Kevin J. Bylsma, Conductor - Trial By Jury and Scalia/Ginsburg

With more than two decades experience as a vocal coach, collaborative pianist, choral conductor, and organist, Kevin J. Bylsma is a musician of impressive depth and ability, well known for his work in opera, art song, and oratorio. A longtime member of the Toledo Opera staff as Head of Music Preparation, Mr. Bylsma was formerly Music Director of the Department of Community Programs for the Michigan Opera Theatre and vocal coach, accompanist, and chorus master for OPERA! Lenawee. In recitals and master classes he has collaborated with the great American singers Samuel Ramey, Diane Soviero, Marilyn Horne, Michelle De Young, and Irina Mishura. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Ann Arbor Festival of Song, and his solo piano performances and collaborative work have been featured on WTGE’s Live from FM91 program. Dedicated to the education and training of the next generation of operatic talent, Mr. Bylsma is Instructor of Opera and repetiteur at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts, responsible for vocal coaching and serving as a collaborative pianist for the school’s large body of young singers. Mr. Bylsma also serves on the artistic staff of OperaWorks, an intensive opera training program, based in Los Angeles, CA. and he is the Associate Organist of the historic Mariner’s Church of Detroit.

   

James M. Norman, Director - Trial By Jury and Scalia/Ginsburg

James Norman has been active in the Northwest Ohio arts community for many years.  In his 30+ years in the business, Mr. Norman has directed, costumed, and stage-managed plays, musicals, and operas. For the Opera On Wheels education program of Toledo Opera, he has designed and directed Hansel and Gretel vs. the Witch, Romeo and Juliet, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, The Magic Flute, and The Billy Goats Gruff. Favorite musical theatre pieces he has directed include: The Full MontyVictor/Victoria, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, All Shook Up, and Evil Dead: The Musical.  Mr. Norman is an accomplished singer and actor as well having sung comprimario roles and in the chorus for Toledo Opera for many years. He has sung with Renee Fleming, Robert Merrill, Lili Chookasian, Irina Mishura, Diana Soviero, and many more. He serves as Director of Operations and Production and Artistic Director of Opera On Wheels for the Toledo Opera. Additionally, Mr. Norman has taught part-time in the English department at the University of Toledo since 1992 and is president of the Ballet Theatre of Toledo board.

Derrick Wang, Composer - Scalia/Ginsburg

Derrick Wang is the composer and librettist of the opera Scalia/Ginsburg, a “perfect…jewel” (Opera Today) that premiered at Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival, was featured as its own chapter (the audio version of which Mr. Wang narrates) in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s book My Own Words, and continues to be performed nationwide. The Los Angeles Times wrote: “Could we please make it a constitutional requirement that no one can be sworn into office in the White House or Congress without first having seen Scalia/Ginsburg?” U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia have both written forewords to his work. As an ASCAP and BMI award-winning composer, his compositions have been performed by groups ranging from the American Modern Ensemble to the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in venues from New York to Shanghai, and his orchestrations have been played at Carnegie Hall and Juilliard. As both composer and librettist, his work has been performed by The Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Delaware, Opera Naples, Opera North, and Washington National Opera. In 2020, his words and music will be performed at Opera Carolina, Virginia Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Solo Opera, and Opera Las Vegas. As a speaker and pianist, he gives talks and recitals at select events in venues ranging from the Library of Congress to TEDxBroadway to the Supreme Court of the United States. As an interdisciplinary scholar in music and law, his work has been published in the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts, cited on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and featured in worldwide media including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, The Economist, and the Süddeutsche Zeitung. A graduate of Harvard College and the Yale School of Music, he teaches music and law at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. For more information, visit www.derrickwang.com.

 

 

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