101_Opera_Notes - Humanities 101 Opera Notes Puccini,...

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Humanities 101 Opera Notes Puccini, “Nessun Dorma” from Turandot (MGttO) Composed in 1926, Puccini’s last opera is based on an ancient fairy tale of a Chinese Princess who kills those who fall in love with her if they cannot answer three riddles. Even after the handsome Calaf guesses correctly the right answers, Turandot resists, begging her father not to give her to the stranger like a slave. When her father tells he cannot go back on his oath, she then appeals to the young Calaf himself, who then says if she can guess his real name before dawn, he will give up his own life. “Nessun Dorrna” (“No one is sleeping”) is the magnificent tenor aria he sings just before dawn when, if she fails to learn his secret, the Princess will be his: CALAF: No one will be sleeping—no one will be sleeping . . And you, too, dear Princess— In your private chamber You must be looking at the stars Quivering, trembling above, with hope and love. But I'll keep my secret safe inside, Letting no one know my real name . . . Yet to your lips alone I'll tell it When daylight appears And my kiss undoes the silence That has made you my own . . . . Although there are tragic moments along the way, the opera ends with Princess Turandot leading the victorious Calaf to the Emperor’s throne and discovering only then that his real name is Love. Delibes,
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This note was uploaded on 03/15/2012 for the course HUM 101 taught by Professor Yorgason during the Fall '11 term at BYU.

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101_Opera_Notes - Humanities 101 Opera Notes Puccini,...

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