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Toledo Opera today announced a revised schedule for the remainder of its current 2020-2021 performance season: on April 16, 17, and 18, 2021, the Opera will stage Scalia/Ginsburg, Derrick Wang’s critically-acclaimed 2015 opera about the relationship between the two Supreme Court justices, on a double bill with the comedic, court-themed Gilbert and Sullivan one-act, Trial By Jury.
The newly announced April performances will replace the Opera’s previously planned early-2021 productions of Franz Lehar’s The Merry Widow and chorus showcase The Grand Tour. Those productions have now been postponed.
According to Rorick, the schedule change was primarily driven by health and safety considerations: Scalia/Ginsburg and Trial By Jury can both be performed with a small cast and a chamber orchestra, while the postponed productions require a larger number of musicians, making social distancing difficult.
“In the age of social distancing, opportunities to safely participate in shared cultural experiences are more valuable than ever,” said Rorick. “Our reimagined season schedule allows us to continue to provide world-class opera performances, while prioritizing safety and observing current Ohio public health guidelines.”
All tickets purchased for the Opera’s previously scheduled performances of Scalia/Ginsburg and Trial By Jury — slated for April 2020, but postponed amid the COVID-19 pandemic — will be honored at the 2021 performances.
The Opera is currently assessing the possibility of releasing more in-person tickets for sale while maintaining socially-distanced audience seating, and expects to announce more details soon.
“The health and safety of our performers, audiences, and staff is our top priority,” said Rorick. “We’ve been closely monitoring the Ohio Department of Health’s guidance, and as soon as we’re confident we can safely release more tickets, we’ll do so.” Currently, an Ohio Department of Health order caps attendance at indoor venues at 15% of fixed seated capacity or 300 people, whichever is lower.
Rorick is especially eager to release more tickets, as soon as it’s possible to do so safely, because of the opera’s timely subject matter.
“Scalia/Ginsburg tells the story of a friendship that transcends deep divisions,” said Rorick. “In our current cultural climate, that story is especially powerful, and we want to share it with as many people in our community as possible.”
Scalia/Ginsburg is the American opera by composer-librettist Derrick Wang that ushered in the era of Supreme Court-themed art. It will be broadcast on national radio in the United States on Saturday, November 7, 2020.
A comedy about friendship in a divided world, inspired by the words of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, Scalia/Ginsburg was first heard at the Supreme Court of the United States before its world premiere production at noted conductor Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival. Revised after the passing of Justice Scalia, Scalia/Ginsburg received a sold-out production in 2017 at The Glimmerglass Festival. In 2019, Opera Delaware’s mainstage opening of Scalia/Ginsburg became the highest-grossing performance in the company’s 74-year history.
Justices Ginsburg and Scalia themselves wrote forewords to Derrick Wang’s libretto, an early version of which was published in the Columbia Journal of Law and the Arts and excerpted in Justice Ginsburg’s 2016 book My Own Words.
ABOUT TOLEDO OPERA
The Mission of Toledo Opera is to enhance the cultural fabric of the region by creating opera experiences that celebrate, both in the theater and beyond its walls, what is unique to opera: dramatic, passionate stories expressed through glorious music and the powerful voices of classically trained singers.
Having opened its first season in 1959 with Verdi’s Aida in the 3,500 seat Paramount Theater in downtown Toledo, Toledo Opera continues to produce quality opera each season. Subsequently, the Opera performed in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Peristyle Theater and the Stranahan Theater. In October 1999, the Opera opened its fortieth anniversary season with performances in the newly renovated 900-seat Valentine Theatre. That venue has now become its home, with the company’s main stage productions, three each year, taking place there. For the past five years, one of the productions has been an American 20th-21st century opera. In April 2018, for the first time in its history, Toledo Opera premiered an opera, Douglas Tappin's I Dream. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra plays at the Opera's performances, with the Toledo Opera Chorus and Children’s Chorus performing as needed. In 1987, the company began offering educational programs for children and youth which now include An Opera Is a Story for preschoolers, Opera on Wheels for elementary students, and Student Night at the Opera for middle and high school students. In 2018, the Opera put on two, two-week summer Opera Camps, one in collaboration with the Toledo School for the Arts and one at the Marathon Center for the Performing Arts in Findlay.
SPONSORS AND COLLABORATORS
Toledo Opera’s 2021 presentations of Scalia/Ginsburg and Trial By Jury are made possible in part by our Presenting Sponsors, Owens Corning and Anspach Law.
Promotional photography: courtesy of MadHouse