7. "Nessun dorma"
None shall sleep
None shall sleep!...
None shall sleep!
Even you, oh Princess,
in your cold room,
watch the stars,
that tremble with love and with hope.
But my secret is hidden within me,
no one shall know my name...
On your lips, I will say it when the light shines.
And my kiss will dissolve the silence
that makes you mine!...
(No one will know his name
and we must, alas, die.)
Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will prevail!
I will prevail! I will prevail!
Turandot, Giacomo Puccini’s final opera, centres on love – the fear it provokes in the Princess Turandot, who has vowed never to marry its power, and its ultimate power.
Any prince seeking her hand must answer three riddles. If he fails, he must die – a fate which leaves Turandot unmoved. Prince Calàf falls in love with Turandot at first sight and successfully answers her three riddles. She pleads with the emperor not to be given to this unknown man, so Calàf gives her a riddle of his own. If she answers correctly, he will agree to die; if not, she must marry him. He gives her until dawn to discover his name.
Turandot decrees that no one will sleep until she learns the name of her suitor; otherwise, everyone in the city will be killed – hence Calàf’s aria, “Nessun Dorma”. In her attempts to avoid her fate, Turandot captures Calàf’s father and a slave girl, Liu, who loves Calàf and knows his name. She refuses to reveal his secret and kills herself to protect him.
Calàf kisses his “Princess of Death” who now realises the stranger's name is "Love."