Through all the activities the Dresser has been immersed in she hasn’t let go of “For the Love of Opera: Celebrating RBG’s 88th Birthday” presented March 15, 2021. The moving tribute paid to Ruth Bader Ginsburg was presented by Opera Philadelphia, the National Museum of American Jewish History (a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate), and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience. The hour and 16 minute program includes favorite arias of RBG, performed by outstanding young talent, and people who knew her or who had observed her attending opera in such places as Glimmerglass in New York state or Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center. The video of the program can be seen at https://www.nmajh.org/events/for-the-love-of-opera/.
The program begins with tenor Joshua Blue singing “Una furtive lagrima” from L’eslisir d’amore by Donizetti. As the surtitles flash this “furtive tear welled up in her eye” and the Dresser could picture and viscerally feel the emotion that RBG felt in hearing this song being sung but such an artful singer like Joshua Blue. The Dresser had seen the Chief Justice at the Kennedy Center on many occasions.
Soprano Ashley Marie Roilard sings the second aria: “O mio babbino caro” from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini. The sweetness of Roilard’s singing is remarkable for ability to relax the listener even as one strains with yearning that the performance does not stop too soon.
All of the musical presentations are like this. Between the arias we hear from RBG’s adult children, singers like baritone Norman Garret, opera director Francesco Zambello. The stories reveal so many intimate moments between RBG and these important people who made her long life worth living. Threaded through the talk is how justice and opera were interwoven in the Chief Justice’s life.
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this thoughtful and moving program.