Michaels: Notorious RBG in Song (CD)

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Soprano Patrice Michaels, “a formidable interpretative talent” (The New Yorker), and collaborative pianist extraordinaire Kuang-Hao Huang offer Notorious RBG in Song, an album of world-premiere recordings saluting the life and work of legal pioneer Ruth Bader Ginsburg in celebration of her completion of 25 years on the United States Supreme Court. Ginsburg, a longtime crusader for equal rights, has become a pop culture icon known as “Notorious RBG” (a wry nod to the late rap artist, The Notorious B.I.G.).

Michaels, a vocalist of “spectacular and diverse gifts” (Journal of Singing) is also a gifted composer. Her nine-song cycle, THE LONG VIEW, illuminates key aspects of Justice Ginsburg’s personal and professional life through letters, remembrances, conversations, and even Court opinions. The album concludes with songs by American composer Stacy Garrop, winner of many prestigious awards and commissions; JUNO Award-winning Canadian composer Vivian Fung; prolific art-song composer Lori Laitman; and an aria from Derrick Wang’s new comic opera, Scalia/Ginsburg.

American composer Stacy Garrop, recipient of many prestigious awards and commissions, based her deeply moving “My Dearest Ruth” on the farewell love letter the Justice’s husband, Georgetown University law professor Martin Ginsburg, wrote shortly before his death in 2010. The aria “You are Searching in Vain for a Bright-Line Solution,” from Derrick Wang’s opera Scalia/Ginsburg, which captured widespread media attention, crystallizes Justice Ginsburg’s views on interpreting the U.S. Constitution. JUNO Award-winning Canadian composer Vivian Fung’s humorous “Pot Roast à la RBG” provides directions for preparing the beef dish, using Justice Ginsburg’s own words as related in the text by daughter Jane Ginsburg. Prolific art-song composer Lori Laitman’s setting of the Emily Dickinson poem “Wider than the Sky” wasn’t written with Ginsburg in mind, but it was performed at her 80th birthday celebration because it perfectly embodied her intellectual breadth.

Album Details

Total Time: 56:30
Producer: James Ginsburg
Engineer: Bill Maylone
Cover Art: Tom Bachtell
Graphic Design: Rubric
Recorded: June 28–29 and November 21, 2017, and January 16, 2018, Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago

© 2018 Cedille Records/Cedille Chicago

CDR 90000 178

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