While there are many translations of Nessun Dorma, the world famous Italian aria from Puccini's "Turandot", nowhere can there be found the whole story behind the opera, the most unknown love story of the operatic world, especially unknown to the general public. The story of two hearts, one that would rather die than not be loved and another that would die if it was loved. Loves story of love.
Puccini, in the Italian manor, in this opera, interprets Love as the complex, nonsensable, yet overwhelmingly, over powering state of heartache that it most certainly is. With this in mind, I present my version of' Nessun Dorma' in story form for your entertainment, so that you may, when listening to this beautiful song next time, from his powerful love opera, feel what Puccini intended for you to feel and enjoy. The magnificence of the realization of total LOVE! Life's most precious moment. When the heart knows for sure.
His opera takes place in Imperial China of long ago and sings of a young, beautiful, callus, cold-hearted Princess named Turandot, who has taken a vow of purity. Her beauty is so captivating and enchanting that it casts a magical spell over any young suitor who would dare to dream of her favors.
Once under her spell they have an overwhelming need to be with her and approaching her they ask for her hand in marriage. Proposal made, she asks but one thing of them and if they comply, she will submit. Posing three riddles to him, he must figure out each of the riddles, fully knowing and not caring that if he falters, he will be decapitated. The cold, calculating beautiful Princess has no intention to marry any man. Not now or ever.
But, along comes the young, handsome, Prince Calaf, Unkown to anyone and mysterious to say the least. In his matter of fact attitude and confident manner, he declares that she, Princess Turandot, will marry him and be his wife, the mother of his children. Unaffected by her spell, his words are those of the heart directed to the heart of the lovely Princes. Taken aback by his apparent rudeness, she declares that before this dream of his might take place, there are three riddles he must answer. She then asks him if he knows his faith should he fail any of the three riddles. He falls to one knee and proclaims, "Yes your highness, I will give you my head, for my heart will have no need of it."
Standing in front of the kneeling Calaf she recites each of the three riddles and after each, he speaks the answer .Correctly. Stunned, she falls back onto her throne and sits in deafening silence for she cannot marry this man, any man, it will not, it must not happen. But she has given her word in a proclamation that cannot be reversed. Many have lost their heads and there must be one more. She will see to it.
Calaf asks permission to rise and granted, he walks to her side. Looking into her beautiful almond shaped eyes he poses a riddle to her saying "Tell me my name before morning and as the sun rises I shall die by your word. But be forewarned, do not answer Calaf, or you will surely loose!"
The day is young but the eager Princess commands her guards to find her his name. Family, relatives and associates are to be questioned in haste under the threat of death. The Prince's father Timur is ordered to tell them the Princes unknown name to which he replies, "My sons name is Calaf!" Standing by Timur's side Liu's proclaims, "I am the only one who knows the Prince's real name of which you will not learn from me!"
Liu, the lovely slave girl has been in love with Calaf since she was a child and knows the Princes real name. She is removed from her village and tortured until she dies, her last words "Calaf my love." Sunset approaching the guards return to the castle and report that no one knows his name. It is unknown. Angered, she declares that this will be a restless night for everyone. She proclaims a new decree, that no one shall sleep until the name of the Prince is revealed to her. No one shall sleep until then. Nessun Dorma, Nessun Dorma, no one sleeps, no one sleeps! The heralds announce the decree throughout the region all night on foot and horseback.
The night is slipping away and she is confused by the feelings in her heart. One of anxiety, anger, fear and another, which is foreign to her. Could it be love? In the minute before the suns glow crowns the snow caped peaks of the mountain range, the Prince grabs the lovely Princess and in a forceful but gentle grasp, enfolds her in his arms and kisses her lips. Their eyes close and in what seems to be a lifetime, their lips part and as she opens her eyes and not understnding this last emotion, she see his handsome smile and whispers to him in a soft voice, "I know your name Prince. It is LOVE! Your name is love and I love you." Alas, its too late, the sun is rising and love will not know death.
In a tumultuous show of nature's forces, the skies light up and the morning stars flash and blink for a moment and as the new days sun rises from behind the mountains, on their world, its too late to proclaim his demise but time to celebrate her surrender to the unknown Prince Calaf. LOVE