Five quick facts about Tu­ran­dot

The Georgia Straight - - Arts - > JANET SMITH

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.

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