I am all set for two nights in the Capital Hilton here where we will be having our Board and Committee meetings. It is a gorgeous day for the last day in October - and it will be better still tomorrow. But what you see above is not too bad is it? This of course is the Washington monument seen from the Ellipse just across 17th street from the Corcoran Gallery.
I had a a little time off after I arrived this afternoon and took the opportunity to pop down to the Corcoran to see the Richard Avedon - Portraits of Power exhibition. It is on until January 25 and is a must see. Do not vist Washington without setting aside an hour or so for that. Avedon's ability to grab the fleeting moments of his subject's personality was extraordinary and his crafsmanship in editing and processing the images in his own unmistakeable style set him apart.
But I was somewhat alarmed to find that the only one of his subjects on exhibition here that I knew well at all, was captured in a most uncharacteristic, or even never before displayed, mood. This was Isaiah Berlin (right by Avedon) who was an old friend of my family and was in no small part responsible for me getting into the opera business. So I was somewhat alarmed to see Isaiah in this way! Nevertheless the whole show was mightily impressive.
This evening we are all gathering for a reception before the NEA Opera Honors event which will consist of some kind of performance in addition to the speeches and presentations, and then a dinner. So it may be a late night. This event is a co-production of the National Endowment for the Arts and Opera America.