Pavarotti offers praise for television

Pavarotti offerspraise for television
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Luciano Pavarotti said television is a "great friend and collaborator" of opera that allows people of all walks of life to enjoy the art form.
"Before, you had a certain doubt about going to a theater because it was understood that it was an elitist medium ... and now the opera is reaching out more," Pavarotti said at a news conference Wednesday in Santo Domingo.
The tenor was to give a concert in the Dominican capital on Friday, with ticket prices ranging from $120 to $585. The 1,500-seat theater is sold out and organizers hope to have another Pavarotti recital in April. Many of his performances have been televised, but there are no plans to broadcast the Dominican concert.
Pavarotti first gained fame in 1961 when he debuted in "La Boheme." Now 66, he has since performed thousands of times in operas and solo concerts, and as part of The Three Tenors with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras.
Keys, India.Arie joinNAACP awards show
LOS ANGELES -- Singers Alicia Keys and India.Arie and Dallas-based minister Bishop T.D. Jakes are among the celebrities taking part in the 33rd NAACP Image Awards.
Actor-comedian Chris Tucker will be the host of the awards show, set for Saturday at the Universal Amphitheater. It's scheduled to air at 8 p.m. EST March 1 on Fox.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice will receive the President's Award, and Little Richard will be honored with the Hall of Fame Award.
Other stars scheduled to appear include Steve Harvey, wrestler The Rock, Jamie Foxx, Angela Bassett and the Isley Brothers.
With the awards, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People honors people and companies that support positive change for blacks in arts and entertainment.
Report: Crowe's escortto be same as last year
Down Under superstars Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman arriving as a couple for the Oscar ceremonies March 24? That's what organizers were hoping for. But the New York Post says Crowe, who's heavily favored to win his second successive Best Actor award, for "A Beautiful Mind," will have on his arm Danielle Spencer, the young Aussie actress who was with him when he won last year for "Gladiator."
Crowe loves his "Gladiator" statue so much, according to, that he has placed it in his chicken run down in Australia: He's convinced it makes his chickens more fertile.
Work wins awardfor British scientist
STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- A British geoscientist is this year's winner of the $500,000 Crafoord Prize for work that has contributed to a theory explaining how and why the continents move and the oceans open and close.
He also developed a method to predict earthquakes and provided new insights into the evolution of Mars and Venus.
Dan P. McKenzie, 59, was cited Thursday "for the fundamental contributions to the understanding of the dynamics of the lithosphere, particularly plate tectonics, sedimentary basin formation and mantle melting," the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
McKenzie, a Royal Society Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Cambridge, said he was extremely pleased to win the prize.
The annual award, named after Holger Crafoord, who designed the first artificial kidney, was established in 1980 for scientific research in areas not recognized by the Nobel Prizes, such as mathematics, astronomy, the biosciences, the geosciences and polyarthritis. It will be presented with a gold medal Sept. 18 by King Carl XVI Gustaf.
Last year's winner was French mathematician Alain Connes, a professor at the Institut des Hautes Etudes Scientifiques and the College de France in Paris.
Today's birthdays
Actor Marc Lawrence is 92. Bandleader Orrin Tucker is 91. Author Margaret Truman Daniel is 78. Actor Hal Holbrook is 77. Singer Bobby Lewis is 69. Actor Alan Bates is 68. Country singer-songwriter Johnny Bush is 67. Football Hall-of-Famer Jim Brown is 66. Actress Mary Ann Mobley is 63. Singer Gene Pitney is 61. Actress Brenda Fricker is 57. Actress Rene Russo is 48. Actor Richard Karn is 46. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is 40. Basketball player Michael Jordan is 39. Movie director Michael Bay ("Pearl Harbor") is 38. Rock musician Timothy J. Mahoney (311) is 32. Rock singer-musician Billie Joe Armstrong (Green Day) is 30. Actor Jerry O'Connell is 28. Country singer Bryan White is 28. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is 21.

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