Virginia Opera & Richmond Symphony to World Premiere ‘Loving v. Virginia’ in 2024-25

By David Salazar

Virginia Opera and the Richmond Symphony are joining forces to present “Loving v. Virginia.”

The opera, which will have its premiere during the 2024-25 season, will be introduced on May 16, 2022 at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU and at the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk.

The new opera, which centers on the landmark Supreme Court case from the late 1950s, will celebrate Virginia Opera’s 50th anniversary season.

In Loving Vs. Virginia, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving, got married in the District of Columbia. However, once they returned to Virginia, they were charged with violating the state’s law that banned inter-racial marriages. The couple was sentenced to a year in prison. However, they appealed and eventually made it to the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled unanimously that the Virginia Law was in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In the decision Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that, “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.”