I kid you not. Alan Dershowitz plans to write an opera. Of course his entire life is an opera–and a very bad one at that. Imagine the character of Dershowitz outside the Leviev diamond showroom pictured in the YouTube video singing his defiance at the Adalah protesters. It would do boffo box office. Or he could write a great opera about the battle of the Jewish titans, Finkelstein and Dershowitz, though he would never do justice to Finkelstein of course and this would destroy the dramatic tension.
Alas, Dershowitz plans his opera on the life of a Warsaw cantor, Gershon Sirota, who perished in the Holocaust. The story sounds like it actually could make a fine opera, though not if written by the Dersh.
Other than clearly loving opera and good singing, his musical qualifications seem a bit slim:
Dershowitz is not without musical experience — he was a choirboy growing up in Brooklyn’s Boro Park at Temple Beth El, and at one point he dreamed of becoming a cantor — but he readily admits the limitations of his prowess. He is writing the libretto for the opera and picking out melodies on the piano, and down the road he plans to get help from more seasoned musicians.
“But even Gershwin needed an arranger,” he said, adding that his musical idol’s original last name was Gershowitz, and that g’s and d’s occasionally get mixed up.
Note the presumption of implying a possible family relationship with Gershwin. I think he needs more than an arranger. He needs a ghost composer.