Monday, September 24, 2007

Nessun Dorma

I don't think the moment has passed for an appreciation of Nessun Dorma, the late Luciano Pavarottis signature theme for those of us uniniated in the ways of such fine music. Having listened to it aplenty over the past few weeks, it struck me I have no idea what the song is about. A random bit of googling lead to this description which sets the scene nicely, essentially the piece is an aria the final act of Giacomo Puccini's Opera Turandot. It is sung by the Prince, Calaf, as a challenge to Princess Turandot who has proclaimed that everyone in her kingdom shall spend a sleepless night attempting to find out the name of this unknown prince. Calaf challenges her that, if his name cannot be discovered by morning, the emotionally cold Princess will marry him. In his aria, Calaf indicates his certainty that their efforts to discover his name will be in vain. Pavarotti in his final performance closed the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics by singing the song, which ends with the victorious line "At dawn, I shall win!" The Youtube clip I chose has Pavorotti performing beneath the Eiffel Tower, though wherever you watched there is no doubt you would be both transformed and transfixed by such a show stopper.

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