The Long View: A Portrait of Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Nine Songs
Composer: Patrice Michaels
Instrumentation: High Voice & Piano
Movements: Prologue: Forsight --- Celia: An Imagined Letter from 1949 --- Advice from Morris --- On Working Together --- Anita's Story --- New York --- The Elevator Thief --- Dissenter of de Universe: Five Opinions and a Comment --- Epiloque: The Long View, Questions AnsweredComposer's Note:Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become quite a folk hero in the past few years. This diminutive, quiet woman could easily be taken in passing for anyone's "Bubbie," but RPG's unflinching legal opinions pack a giant intellectual punch. Her pursuit of gender equality first gained attention when she began arguing discrimination cases as an appellate lawyer. Attention became notoriety with her famous dissents from the Supreme Court bench in cases concerning issues of social justice. Much has been written about her fascinating life and work: she's been parodied in comedy sketches, and even a chamber opera that features her famous friendship with late Justice Antonin Scalia. My own experience writing about Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who by very food fortune happens to me my mother-in-law) began in 2013, in preparation for the celebration of her 80th birthday. Three women composers (Stacy Garrop, Vivian Fung, and I) were each commissioned to write a song and each assigned a text drawn from a specific time in Justice Ginsberg's life. The text I received was so delightful and inspiring that I wondered if it would be possible to create a true musical portrait of this amazing woman by assembling a broader array of material representing the cornerstones of her life and career. This song cycle is the result of many hours of research, interviews with generous family, friends and colleagues, and discussion with "Notorious RBG" herself. The experience has been rewarding beyond my imagination - as a wonderful musical project, as an opportunity to know my husband's family more deeply, and as a tribute to someone who is revered by millions for her ethics, determination and achievements on behalf of others.