[ In the Press ]

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia? Set His Dissents to Music


The Reduced Shakespeare Company portrays the Supreme Court as Puppets singing ‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Scalia?’ REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY

The Wall Street Journal | By Jess Bravin

WASHINGTON—Justice Antonin Scalia , whose barbed wit entertains audiences at Supreme Court arguments, has some competition from Antonin Scalia, the fictional character.

Like no justice before him, the 78-year-old jurist is being portrayed in works that draw on his words and legacy as the longest-serving sitting justice and one of the court’s most polarizing figures.

Justice Scalias are appearing in a stage play, an opera and a puppet show, to name three. The actual Justice Scalia ascribes his proliferating stage presence to the media culture of the modern age. MORE

Published December 3, 2014
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[ in the press ]

A Law School Graduate Who Makes Beautiful Music

Above the Law
By David Lat

We recently shared with you a fascinating, legally themed musical project: Scalia/Ginsburg, an opera about two of the U.S. Supreme Court’s leading lights, by award-winning composer Derrick Wang.

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.

…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.


Published September 4, 2013
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[ alumni ]

Derrick Wang ’08MM writes opera about Justices Scalia and Ginsburg

Photo by Matthew Fried

Photo by Matthew Fried

Derrick Wang ’08MM has attracted national attention for his new opera, Scalia/Ginsburg.

The two justices are ideological opposites — and very close friends. “If they can get along and be friends, there’s no excuse for the rest of us,” Wang told the press in a telephone interview.

Wang recently graduated from the University of Maryland Law School. The Associated Press notes that he “previewed his work during a private audience with the two justices in late June, the day after the court issued its final opinions for the session… Ginsburg said the timing was perfect and ‘that after Scalia’s stirring [dissent] in the Windsor case, that we should end up on this note emphasizing the importance of collegiality.'” MORE

Published August 8, 2013
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Derrick Wang ’08MM wins BMI Student Composer Award for short opera

Derrick Wang has been named a winner in the 58th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards, which “recognize superior creative talent” in music composition. Wang’s BMI award-winning work is the ten-minute, one-act opera ISH, scored for two tenors, barintone, bass-baritone, and keyboard.

Eleven young classical composers, ages 13 to 26, were named winners in the 58th Annual BMI Student Composer Awards.  Awards Chair Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, BMI President and CEO Del Bryant, and BMI Foundation President Ralph N. Jackson announced the decisions of the jury and presented the awards at a reception held May 14 at the Jumeirah Essex House Hotel in New York City.

The BMI Student Composer Awards recognize superior creative talent, and winners receive scholarship grants to be applied toward their musical education. In 2010, more than 500 manuscripts were submitted to the competition from throughout the Western Hemisphere, and all works were judged under pseudonyms.


Published June 9, 2010
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