The chandeliers were on the verge of rattling in the Supreme Court’s East Conference Room on Thursday as the powerful voices of tenor Lawrence Brownlee and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves rang out during the Court’s annual musicale.

The late Justice Harry Blackmun started the tradition of a springtime musical interlude at the Court in 1988 — it was every other year the first few times — and then Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and now Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg have become the impresaria for the unique event. Musical stars including Bobby Short, Michael Feinstein, Marian McPartland and Leonard Slatkin, as well as some of the best operatic names, have played the coveted gig. Thursday marked Graves’ second appearance at the Court, and Brownlee’s debut. Betty Bullock was at the piano.

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