HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Nerves of Steel
Performing in front of the president can be a scary thing — but if you’re an award-winning, internationally known soprano who has done it before, it’s a little bit easier.
Renée Fleming was among the performers who took to the stage at the Ford’s Theatre annual gala Sunday night, appearing in front of President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and a who’s who of other political power players, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Democratic Reps. John Dingell (Mich.), Joe Crowley (N.Y.) and Jim Moran (Va.).
Fleming told HOH before the big show that it would be her second time singing for Obama, having performed at his inauguration.
“It’s just always a thrill,” she said, adding that her past presidential experience helps ease the butterflies.
“It’s more enjoyable in a way,” she said. In fact, she said feels like these sort of performances are akin to doing a service to the country.
“You think that something is greater than you,” she said.
“Modern Family” star Ty Burrell, who hosted the event, told HOH that he met the Obamas at a reception held at the White House before the event.
“We just met them very briefly, and we know they’re on a crazy tight schedule doing very important things,” Burrell said, adding that he hoped the evening gave the Obamas “a bit of a break.”
Robin Roberts from “Good Morning America” also attended the White House reception and got a picture with the first couple — although she noted that she stood by Michelle Obama so her niece could stand next to the president.
(Although HOH didn’t see her, the first lady wore “a stunning silver strapless dress with a large crystal necklace with what looks like two small fabric bows on either side,” according to the White House pool report.)
Other stars spotted at the event: Kelly Clarkson, Dick Van Dyke, Lionel Richie and George Lopez. The program, “America Celebrates July 4th at Ford’s Theatre,” airs July 2 on ABC.
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