Benched on stage
More accustomed to presiding over courtroom theatre, three elderly US judges last week tried their hand at a much larger and foreign stage: the Washington Opera.
Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Ginsburg, all of whom sit on the Supreme Court bench, appeared alongside famed tenor Placido Domingo on opening night of Johann Strauss Jr’s ‘Die Fledermaus’.
And, although the trio’s vocal chords have no doubt been well and truly warmed after years of verballing witnesses and advocates, all three were forced to take a back seat with non-singing and dancing roles.
“That’s show business. You have to start from the bottom,” Kennedy shrugged.
Dressed in theatrically enhanced judicial robes, the justices — all whom are aged in their late sixties — appeared in the back reaches of the stage as ‘guests supreme’ at a gala ball.
“It’s nice. You get a very good view of what’s going on,” said Ginsburg, a self-confessed monotone.
Yet despite their resignation to bit-part players, all three have graced the stage previously. Local buffs may even recall an appearance from Kennedy several years ago at Sydney’s Opera House.
Prison out of tune
Ear-bashed by bling-bling laden rap music for weeks, 13 suspected South African right-wing treasonists have won the right to play their preferred prison soundtrack.
Currently behind bars after being accused of plotting bomb attacks and the assassination of former president Nelson Mandela, the group claimed that an unabated deluge of “black” music pumped into their cells was responsible for “drastic psychological effects”.
They took their aural plight before Judge Eberhard Bertels- mann, who agreed the so-called torture should cease on the proviso that the applicants provided radios to those who had none.