Loving v. Virginia legalizing interracial marriage turned into an opera
The landmark Supreme Court case that struck down state bans on interracial marriage is going to be an opera. Yes, an opera!
Driving the news: Virginia Opera and the Richmond Symphony have teamed up to commission an operatic narrative about the marriage of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia who were sentenced to a year in prison in the 1950s for breaking the 1924 law on the racial integrity of the state, which made it illegal for a white person to marry a non-white person.
- Their sentence was suspended as long as they left the state, so the couple moved to DC
- It took nearly a decade of appeals, but in 1967 the Lovings’ conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court.
- loving v. Virginia was the precedent cited in the 2015 court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
What is happening: Virginia Opera commissioned the work to celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
- loving v. Virginia will premiere in 2025 at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk and the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax.
Be smart: Virginia Opera commissioned composer Damien Geter, who grew up in Chesterfield, and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo to create the new opera.
- The Lovings made her own wedding possible, Murphy Moo told The Times-Dispatch.
What they say : “I can’t think of a more fitting story, a testament to love, a story of quiet perseverance, courage, dignity and ultimately a victory for civil rights and the freedom to marry,” said Adam Turner, artistic director of the Virginia Opera. at a press conference in May in Richmond.