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Justice Antonin Scalia Dies at 79: Friendship Battles with Ginsburg Remembered in Opera

By James Knight J.knight@classicalite.com on Feb 13, 2016 08:05 PM EST

United States Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia has died at the of 79. Scaia was well known for being one of the most conservative Justices on the bench. Scalia was also known as a lover of the opera as well as the subject of one. The comedic opera, Ginsburg/Scalia, composed by lawyer and musician Derrick Wang, focus on Scalia’s close friendship with rival Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Despite their drastically different interpretations of the law, Scalia and Ginsburg will forever be remembered as the closest friends on the bench.

Justice Anthony Scalia passed away in his sleep on Saturday morning.

Chief Justice John Roberts issued a statement about Scalia’s passing, saying (Via CNN):

"He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the court and the country he so loyally served. We extend our deepest condolences to his wife Maureen and his family."

Scalia was very close with his fellow Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The pair was also known for their opposing views in the court. It was this odd couple dynamic that inspired lawyer and composer Derrick Wang to write the 2015 Opera Ginsburg/Scalia. Wang previously spoke to NPR about how the pairs Supreme Court arguments lead to the Opera:

"I realized this is the most dramatic thing I've ever read in law school ... and I started to hear music -- a rage aria about the Constitution. And then, in the midst of this roiling rhetoric, counterpoint, as Justice Ginsburg's words appeared to me -- a beacon of lyricism with a steely strength and a fervent conviction all their own. And I said to myself, 'This is an opera.' "

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TagsJustice Anthony Scalia, Judge Scalia, Dies, Death, 79, Friendship, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Battles, Scalia/Ginsburg, Remembered, Opera, Antonin