WFMT, Chicago’s classical and fine arts radio station, will welcome a very special guest on the morning of Monday, September 21: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Ginsburg’s son James runs Cedille Records, Chicago’s nonprofit classical label.

Starting at 10:00 am, Justice Ginsburg will join WFMT’s midday program host Lisa Flynn live in the broadcast booth as a Guest Host, to share some of her favorite music with WFMT’s audiences, who can listen at 98.7WFMT or at wfmt.com.

Immediately following at 11:00 am, she and Ms. Flynn will join singers from The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago for a live broadcast from WFMT’s Fay and Daniel Levin Performance Studio.  Justice Ginsburg, a well-known opera aficionado, will discuss Opera and the Law with Lisa Flynn, during which the singers will present operatic excerpts with legal scenes. Performers from the Ryan Opera Center will be mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen, tenors Alec Carlson and Jesse Donner, and bass Patrick Guetti, with piano accompaniment by music director Craig Terry.  Audiences will hear:

  • The “Seguidilla” scene from Bizet’s Carmen —Ms. Rosen and Mr. Donner as Carmen and Don José, performing a duet that is arguably opera’s most famous plea bargain.
  • “Abendlich” from Wagner’s Das Rheingold —The character of Wotan, on the importance of contracts (a recording).
  • “I Accept Their Verdict” from Britten’s Billy Budd — Mr. Donner as Captain Vere, on the difference between law and justice.
  • Mrs. Patrick De Rocher’s aria from Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally — Ms. Rosen, on the death penalty.
  • “A Paradox” from Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance—Mr. Carlson, Ms. Rosen, and Mr. Guetti as Frederick, Ruth, and the Pirate King, on strict versus sensible construction.

The repertoire in the program was personally selected by Justice Ginsburg, who will also provide her own commentary.  Ms. Flynn will introduce each segment.

Following the broadcast, Justice Ginsburg will record a web-exclusive segment for wfmt.com in which she will reveal her top five favorite operas.  Brief clips from the broadcast will also be aired on WTTW’s nightly newsmagazine Chicago Tonight that evening.

“We are thrilled to welcome Justice Ginsburg to WFMT,” said Steve Robinson, General Manager of WFMT.  “To have someone of her stature who has such a passion for classical music on our air is a great honor, and we are delighted to partner with our friends at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ryan Opera Center for this very special event.”

About The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center was established in 1974 as the professional artist-development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Since its inception, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers and pianists with unparalleled training and experience.  Selected from some 400 singers who audition annually, the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members receive advanced instruction in numerous aspects of operatic performance, and perform and understudy a significant number of principal and supporting roles throughout Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mainstage season.

About WFMT
WFMT is one of the nation’s most respected classical music radio stations, reaching an audience of thousands of local listeners and an ever-increasing international audience at wfmt.com/streaming. WFMT showcases superlative programs, concerts, and live events you cannot hear anywhere else – broadcasts from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and many more. The WFMT Radio Network is a leading producer and syndicator of a diverse selection of outstanding musical series, including Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network.  Connect with WFMT on Facebook and Twitter.