Verdi & Harold Pinter Born Today, Porgy & Bess Premieres & Alice Munro, Winner of Nobel Prize, Interviewed
"The Nobel Prize money is a life-belt," wrote George Bernard Shaw, "thrown to a swimmer who has already reached the shore in safety." So for Alice Munro, today's announcement that the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to her, is certainly not about the money. She reached the other shore a long time ago, and her stories are like reports from an inner landscape so rich we cannot help but find ourselves in them. Earlier this year, she put down her pen and announced that she would stop writing in order to "let the world in." Well, didn't it do just that. Hooray for one of my favorite authors. Here she is in a 2009 interview, charming and witty as ever. But of course the best way to know her is to read her stories.
Another Nobel Laureate, Harold Pinter, was born on this day in 1930. Thankfully, his plays are still being produced. Here's a clip from a production of The Birthday Party earlier this year at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater.
Despite controversies over its often stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans and much-publicized issues with the Gershwin heirs, Porgy & Bess, which made its Broadway debut on this day in 1935, continues to triumph where it matters most - in the hearts of people throughout the world. Here are Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald in an unforgettable performance of "Summertime," one of the opera's best-loved songs.
Composer Giuseppe Verdi was also born on this day in 1813. He is clearly still alive. Witness this clip from Rigoletto, featuring Luciano Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Leo Nucci, and Isola Jones, in the famous quartet, "Bella Figlia Dell'Amore."
TAGS: Famous Birthdays, Muses & Music, Writers & Writing
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
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