U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg to make opera debut

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will make her opera debut next month in Donizetti’s “Daughter of the Regiment” at Washington’s Kennedy Center, the opera company said on Friday.

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The liberal 83-year-old justice will make a one-night appearance in the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp when the comic opera opens on Nov. 12, the Washington National Opera said in announcing the casting.

“While the opera is best known for the vocal acrobatics required of its singers, the high-comedy antics of the non-singing role of the Duchess of Krakenthorp often steal the show,” it said in a statement.

Although the one-night stand will mark Ginburg’s official opera debut, she and the late Justice Antonin Scalia appeared as extras in a party scene of Richard Strauss’ “Ariadne auf Naxos” in 2009, the Washington Post reported.

The Washington National Opera said she also was an extra in “Ariadne auf Naxos” in 1994 and in Johann Strauss II’s “Die Fledermaus” in 2003.

“We definitely sold a lot of tickets today after our announcement,” said Michael Solomon, a Washington National Opera spokesman.

“Hopefully it will be a fun evening for everyone,” he added.

Ginsburg has been celebrated in progressive legal circles for her defense of reproductive rights, equal pay for women, affirmative action in colleges and voting rights.

She also has commented publicly about politics and other divisive issues, something high court justices generally shy away from.

This month Ginsburg backtracked on criticism she had leveled against National Football League player Colin Kaepernick for his refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games.

In July, she also said she regretted criticizing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, calling her remarks “ill-advised.”

Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Tom Brown