[Illustration by David Parkins. Used by permission. Copyright. All rights reserved]
"We are different. We are one."
Opera Memphis will present Derrick Wang's comic opera Scalia/Ginsburg for ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. The performance will take place at The Grove, GPAC's lush, outdoor performance space, on Saturday, June 12 at 7 pm, with a preshow talk beginning at 6:15. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the GPAC box office at (901) 751-7500 or visiting the GPAC ticketing website.
"Scalia/Ginsburg is for me a dream come true." - Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Since its debut in 2015, Scalia/Ginsburg has quickly become a staple for many American companies, including the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Delaware, Opera Grand Rapids, and more. Composer/librettist Derrick Wang takes inspiration from the unlikely friendship between U.S. Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, who shared a mutual love for opera. Opera fans may recognize quotes from some of the Justices' favorite works, including La bohème, Madame Butterfly, La Traviata, Carmen, and Rigoletto. Upon seeing the piece for the first time, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg remarked, "Scalia/Ginsburg is for me a dream come true." Audiences and critics alike tend to agree! With its central message of unity between the title characters, who often appeared on opposite sides politically while maintaining a deep and decades-long friendship, Scalia/Ginsburg offers audiences a chance to reconnect and celebrate what unites us.
Read the original, annotated libretto here.
Composer & Librettist Derrick Wang
Derrick Wang is a creator, thinker, and advisor, unlocking value in unlikely places. As an ASCAP and BMI award-winning composer, lyricist, and librettist, his works have been performed by artists and groups including the American Modern Ensemble, Castleton Festival, Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Carolina, Opera Delaware, Opera Grand Rapids, Opera Naples, Opera North, Orchestra Victoria, Washington National Opera, and Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, in venues from New York to Australia, and his orchestrations have been performed at Carnegie Hall and Juilliard. As an interdisciplinary thinker, his writing has been published in academic journals, profiled in legal periodicals, cited on network television (including Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?), and covered in U.S. news outlets (ranging from The Wall Street Journal to MSNBC) and international media (from The Economist to the Süddeutsche Zeitung and beyond). As a founding advisor of Arsāpio, a creative consultancy and newsletter for polymathic growth, he demonstrates how artistic knowledge can unlock leadership potential in organizations of all kinds. As a speaker, pianist, and creator of the motto “We are different, we are one,” he has addressed judges, legislators, and legal scholars across the American political spectrum and the United States. He can be heard narrating and performing excerpts from his internationally performed and acclaimed opera Scalia/Ginsburg as an audiobook chapter in Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s My Own Words. A graduate of Harvard University (AB magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), the Yale School of Music (MM), and the University of Maryland Carey School of Law (JD), he teaches music and law in the Business of Music program at the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. For more information, visit www.derrickwang.com.
Meet the Cast
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Handorf Company Artist Stephanie Doche, mezzo-soprano
Praised as “explosively eloquent” (Memphis Flyer) and beholding “fervent, commanding vocal prowess” (San Diego Story), French-American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Doche (rhymes with posh) is highly coveted for her “darkly shaded voice." Critically acclaimed for her fioratura singing, Stephanie performed her “triumphant” portrayal as Angelina in La Cenerentola with both Opéra Louisiane and Opera NEO in 2019. Stephanie joins the Florida Grand Opera FGO Studio for the 2020/2021 season anticipating performing the roles of Flora Bervoix in La Traviata and Siébel in Faust (both canceled due to COVID-19). In 2021, Stephanie performs the roles of Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti, Pamela/Mama in New York Stories (Hagen), and Rosine in Signor Deluso (Pasatieri) as part of Florida Grand Opera’s Winter Opera Series. During the 2018/2019 season, she was a Handorf Company Artist with Opera Memphis, successfully performing the wide-ranging roles of Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Cousin Hebe in H.M.S. Pinafore, and Toledo in The Falling & the Rising (professional premiere). In 2021, Stephanie is slated to appear with Opera Company of Middlebury, Opéra Louisiane, and Finger Lakes Opera, and make her role debut as Bizet’s iconic femme fatale, Carmen.
Darren Stokes, bass-baritone
American bass-baritone Darren K. Stokes is an artist of exceptional vocal ability. An alumnus of the distinguished Ryan Opera Center of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he has had the pleasure of performing with prominent opera companies and orchestras throughout the US. Recent operatic engagements include an extensive tour through Germany as Crown in Porgy and Bess, Sciarrone in Tosca and Jim Larkens La Fanciulla del West for New York City Opera, Escamillo in Carmen for New York City Opera on tour throughout Europe and the Middle East, The title character in Le Nozze di Figaro with Toledo Opera and Amarillo Opera. Zach Redler’s Movin' Up in the World and Betto in Gianni Schicchi with Opera Memphis, Colonel/Doctor 4 in The Falling and the Rising with Opera Memphis, Orsocane in Ali Baba with Opera Southwest, 2nd Soldier in Salome at the Spoleto Festival, and Escamillo in Carmen for Hawaii Opera Theatre. Mr. Stokes has been a member of the young artist programs of Sarasota Opera (where he was awarded the Leo M. Rogers Scholarship for Outstanding Apprentice), Glimmerglass Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center. Mr. Stokes is also an award recipient from the prestigious William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation.
Justice Antonin Scalia
Handorf Company Artist Dane Suarez, tenor
Praised for his "big, heroic voice" and "powerful emotions," tenor Dane Suarez has developed an exciting and varied career. In the winter of 2020, Mr. Suarez returned to West Bay Opera to perform the role of Macduff (Macbeth). For the remainder of the 2020 season, he was scheduled to reprise the role of Rodolfo (La bohème) with Fort Worth Opera (COVID19 postponement), perform the title role in Faust with Opera Neo (COVID19 postponement), and make his role debut as Manrico (Il Trovatore) with Opera in the Heights (COVID19 postponement). For 2020-2021, Mr. Suarez is happy to have returned to Opera Memphis. He joined the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for their holiday concert. In addition, he will perform the role of Don José (Carmen) with Festival Opera. Dane was a National Semi-Finalist of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He made his Washington National Opera debut in 2015 and his New York City Opera debut in 2017. In addition, he has sung leading roles with Opera San Jose, Opera Memphis, Aspen Music Festival, and more. Dane currently resides in Memphis with his wife and their two perfect dogs.
Catch up with the cast of Scalia/Ginsburg in this behind-the-scenes interview!