Three US Supreme Court justices stepped away from the theatre of the courtroom to take cameo roles in an opera starring Placido Domingo.
Placido Domingo escorted Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg on stage
Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were invited to perform in Die Fledermaus.
All three have little stage experience but are big opera fans, although they did not sing during the show.
The trio were cast in small roles, playing guests at a royal ball, dressed in long judicial robes.
The judges appeared on stage in the Washington Opera production as tenor Domingo began a solo, accompanied by tango dancers, and were introduced as "guests supreme".
The justices watched from a plush red velvet ottoman as Domingo sang.
"It's the best seat in the house," said Mr Kennedy.
Mr Kennedy has previously made guest appearances at the Sydney Opera House, while Ms Ginsberg was an extra in Washington Opera's 1994 rendition of Ariadne auf Naxos.
Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer did not sing
"You can't be a judge without some theatrical talent," said Mr Breyer, who last performed on stage at the age of 12.
Mr Kennedy said it was ironic that one of the characters in Johann Strauss Jr's 1874 operetta is a a foolish lawyer whose client receives a longer jail sentence than he should for calling a police officer an idiot.
Ms Ginsburg, who is 70, said she was delighted with her time on stage with Domingo, describing him as "a great phenomenon of the world".
The performance was taped for a future television broadcast, and Mr Kennedy said he was looking forward to reading the reviews.