Five quick facts about Turandot
1. Luciano Pavarotti’s recording of Calaf’s famous “Nessun dorma” became the theme song of the 1990 World Cup.
2. Puccini died in 1924, before completing Turandot, so Franco Alfano finished it.
3. Puccini worked real Chinese melodies into the score, drawn from a music box given to him as a gift by an Italian diplomat.
4. No one can agree on the pronunciation of the titular princess’s name: several iconic divas have insisted the “t” at the end is silent, but Puccini’s own granddaughter insisted it be pronounced.
5. Though Turandot was unofficially banned in China till the mid-1990s, celebrated filmmaker Zhang Yimou staged an epic version of it on the Forbidden City site in 1998.