Gian Carlo Menotti, one of the premiere classical composers of our time, was born in Italy in 1911. He composed his first opera at the tender age of eleven.

After his father's death, he moved to America and attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. There, he met fellow composer Samuel Barber, with whom he was partnered, outside the closet, for over thirty years.

In the 1940s and 50s, Menotti wrote four operas that appeared on Broadway, establishing his reputation as America's most popular opera composer. His 1951 Christmas operetta, "Amahl and the Night Visitors," is his best-known work.

In the 50s, Menotti received two Pulitzer Prizes.

One of his most successful ventures was "The Festival of Two Worlds" in Spoleto, Italy – a cultural collaboration of America and Europe, embracing all the arts.

This Rainbow Minute was read by Tom Miller.

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