THE WASHINGTON NATIONAL OPERA MIDWINTER GALA
The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium
PHOTOS BY KYLE SAMPERTON AND RUSSELL HIRSHON
Chairwoman Caroline Boutt é’s recent trip to India inspired her to transform the Mellon Auditorium into the “Taj Mahal by Moonlight.”It was an impressive eff ort by the Women’s Commi ee under the honorary patronage of Indian Amb. Ronen Sen and Kalpana Sen. With Gala vice-chair Kim Neles, they saw that no detail was overlooked while raising over $575,000 to support upcoming productions. THE SCENE
As women arrived (mostly in saris), they were adorned with a bindi their foreheads and greeted with bellinis, fruity martinis, and spicy amusebouches. WNO’s new executive director, Mark Weinstein, was on hand to welcome arriving guests. After a feast of naan, curried meats, and a mini-Taj Mahal coconut dessert, Dhoonya Dance performed for the 500 guests. The band Free Spirit, which surprisingly played Western music, called guests out onto the sparkling dance fl oor, a mirage of an Indian refl ecting pool.