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Scalia/Ginsburg: An Opera by Derrick Wang and Across the Aisle: A Panel Discussion on Justice and Jurisprudence


Event Status

Sunday 7 February 2021, 6.00pm-8.30pm, including a 30 minute interval,

Join us for an unforgettable evening in the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, as we honour the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a panel conversation and the Australian premiere of Derrick Wang’s opera Scalia/Ginsburg.

Scalia/Ginsburg is a comic opera about the close and unlikely friendship between US Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia. The two towering legal figures, who publicly disagreed on many legal and ideological questions, enjoyed a decades-long friendship and a shared passion for opera. 

Created by composer-librettist Derrick Wang, this one-act opera premiered at a festival in Virginia in 2015 with Ginsburg in attendance. In February, it’s coming to Melbourne Gardens for one night only.

At this very special event, we’ll bring together some of our brightest legal minds – including Louise Milligan, the Honourable Marcia Neave, Adrienne Stone and host Julian Burnside QC – for Across the Aisle, a panel discussion on legal history, blazed trails and giants of jurisprudence; followed by a short intermission and a performance of Scalia/Ginsburg by Orchestra Victoria.

Roll up with a picnic to the Australian Shakespeare Company’s lawn, as the Bard hands over his stage to the Notorious RBG.

Do you have a question to be considered by the panel? Submit it here.

Presented in partnership with Orchestra Victoria and in collaboration with Royal Botanic Gardens. Supported by Glenn Elston and the Australian Shakespeare Company.



Julian Burnside

Julian Burnside is a Melbourne barrister. He joined the Bar in 1976 and took silk in 1989. He specialises in commercial litigation, and has acted in many very contentious cases – the MUA Waterfront dispute; the Cash-for-Comment enquiry; cases for Alan Bond and Rose Porteous – but has be... Read more

Marcia Neave

The Hon. Marcia Neave AO has had an outstanding career as a judge, lawyer, academic and public policy maker. From February 2015 to March 2016, she was the chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence. That Royal Commission was entrusted with the task of making recommendations regarding the fam... Read more

Louise Milligan

Louise Milligan is an investigative reporter for ABC TV’s Four Corners and the bestselling author of Cardinal, which won the Walkley Book Award and broke massive international news preceding the court case and successive and ultimately successful appeals involving one of the most senior mem... Read more

Adrienne Stone

Adrienne Stone is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor and director of the  Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at Melbourne Law School and an Australian Laureate Fellow.  She writes and lectures about constitutional law in Australia and globally and has special expertise on freedom of... Read more

Nicolette Fraillon

Nicolette Fraillon AM is Artistic Director of Orchestra Victoria and Music Director and Chief Conductor of The Australian Ballet.  Nicolette began her music studies on violin and piano at an early age, furthering her instrumental studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna and in Hannover. In 19... Read more

Christopher Hillier

Christopher Hillier’s most recent appearances for Opera Australia have included Zurga in a new production of The Pearl Fishers, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, The Convict in The Rabbits, Dancairo in Carmen and The Count in their national tour of The Marriage of Figaro. In concert, he sang The Ce... Read more

Sofia Troncoso

American soprano Sofia Troncoso, Opera Queensland 2021 Young Artist, is an accomplished singer in numerous styles spanning from early music to new music and is an especially accomplished interpreter of Mozart. Recent highlights include Papagena/Magic Flute for Scottish Opera, described as ‘charmin... Read more

Samuel Sakker

Tenor Samuel Sakker holds a BMus from Queensland Conservatorium and was a young artist at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Career highlights include: Alfredo (La traviata, The Royal Opera, Covent Garden), Mozart Requiem with Sir Antonio Pappano and Joyce DiDonato (Royal Opera Japan Tour), Rodol... Read more


Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Southern Cross Lawn

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Southern Cross Lawn, Melbourne VIC 3004

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