07 September 2007

Puccini: The Pioneer of Daytime Television

You may not be a fan of opera but I'm posting my last song here. You may listen for the first time or this may be a favorite as well. This song was my first exposure to Pavarotti, his signature song from Puccini's opera Turnadot: "Nessun Dorma" meaning "Let no one sleep".

When you look at it, Puccini was one of the first pioneers in the modern day "Days of Our Lives". There is drama, love, suspense, death, twisting and turning in the story. I'm just saying if Puccini were alive today he would be working for NBC as a brilliant writer and Epic would have him signed with billboard smashing hits. The man was bloody brilliant!

Here is a look at the story:

Turandot is a stunningly beautiful cold-hearted princess. The law is that anyone who wants to marry her is first asked three riddles. If he answers them right he gets to marry her as his prize. If he answers wrong he is put to death by beheading. She lures with her beauty, one man after the other, as they are put to death unable to solve the ridiculous riddles.

(Now you know how soap opera's got their name).

Our hero, The Prince comes along and answers his riddles correctly. There is a catch, he truly loves her would rather die than to have her forced into marrying him. He loves her but he has his pride and wants her to love him for who he is.

So what does The Prince do?

He pulls a Rumpelstiltskin and gives her a riddle. She must guess his name by daybreak or he will die anyway. She's a cold, stubborn woman and all that drives her is to find his name to get out of this engagement....and, of course, lob his head off. She proclaims over the city that no one sleeps until she finds his name. Princess Turnadot's heart melts as she discovers he is willing to die for her. In that, she realizes his name, "Amor" meaning "Love".

The Prince just wanted her to love him for who he was, to be given her heart and not taken by force as his prize. Add one mellifluous voice like Pavarotti's? Opera has never been the same.

"Nessun Dorma"

Nobody shall sleep
Nobody shall sleep

Even you, o Princess,

in your cold room,

watch the stars,

that tremble with love and with hope.

But my secret is hidden within me,
my name no one shall know....No!...No!...

On your mouth I will tell it
when the light shines.

And my kiss will dissolve
the silence that makes you mine!

(background: No one will know his name and we must, alas, die).

The Prince Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!

At dawn, I will win!

I will win! I will win!

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"One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe